You Still Have Time -- Business School Rallies Tax Preparation Volunteers to Help Waco CommunityJan. 16, 2003
Baylor business students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to help the working poor in the Waco community by helping to make sure they receive tax benefits that they may not otherwise know to claim, such as the Earned Income Credit and the refundable Childcare Credit. The Heart of Texas Financial Literacy Coalition estimates that 5,700 families in the City of Waco were eligible for a total of $10 million of these credits last year that were never claimed.
"I am convinced that this is something we, as a community of Christian business people, can and should do something about," said Dr. Bill Thomas, Professor of Accounting and The J.E. Bush Professor of Accounting, who is leading the initiative. "Think about the difference that money could have made to these people's lives and the community of Waco."
In the program being coordinated by the Coalition and partially funded by the Rapoport Foundation, faith-based institutions will provide free income tax return preparation assistance to people who cannot afford professional tax help, such as seniors, disabled, low-income and non-English speaking people.
Thomas is urging students, faculty and staff from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, especially those in the accounting field, to volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sponsored by the IRS. Free training will be provided for volunteers. Volunteers are asked to help an average of one or two Saturday's per month from February through April 15. Greeters, interpreters and return preparers are needed.
For those interested in volunteering, contact Thomas at 254-710-4924 or by email at Bill_Thomas@baylor.edu.