Westminster Pro Bono Tax Clinic Students Recognized for Community Service

May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015 Students prepared more than 1700 returns that totaled $2.5 million SALT LAKE CITY - Westminster College students were recognized by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams for their community service during the 2015 tax season. Twenty eight students provided free income tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. At the May County Council meeting, Mayor McAdams applauded the students for volunteering 2,000 hours and filing 1,700 returns that totaled $2.5 million.   The Westminster Pro Bono Tax Clinic offered free tax preparation and financial planning to more than 1700 families this tax season. The clinic operated out of the Salt Lake County Government Center for ten weeks. The service was open to households of any size making $53,000 or less per year. Taxes were prepared at no cost by students who are IRS certified with advanced accounting education. The clinic was directed by Emily Rains, Westminster associate professor of accounting and tax attorney. The numbers after all the returns were filed are impressive.  
  • 28 Westminster students
  • 2,193 volunteer hours
  • 1,729 tax preparations
  • $2,504,930 in refunds
  • $1,023,661 in Total EIC (Earned Income Credit - refundable credit)
"The Westminster Pro Bono Tax Clinic was a confidence building opportunity for students that allowed them to bridge the gap between their understanding of tax law and real world application," said professor Rains. "Students experienced first-hand, the difference their knowledge could make in a person's life. Assisting others with their taxes isn't just about preparing a return, it is getting to know the person in front of you and figuring out how best to serve their needs. I was so impressed by the sensitivity and engagement displayed by our students this past season, their level of commitment and pursuit of excellence was awe inspiring."   The Westminster Pro Bono Tax Clinic was funded by the Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement at Westminster in partnership with CapUtah and Salt Lake County.

Media Contacts

Krista DeAngelis and Arikka Von

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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