MGA Accounting Students Help Others Through Volunteer Tax Preparation Service
Thursday, February 13th, 2020
Summer Beattie-Moore is getting some valuable work experience and helping people at the same time.
Along with another Middle Georgia State University (MGA) accounting student, Beattie-Moore is helping low-to-moderate income families and individuals prepare and file their taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA. The United Way of Central Georgia partnered with the Internal Revenue Service to offer the volunteer program at two locations in Macon.
“This will help me learn the process and also more about tax law,” said Beattie-Moore, 25, a senior majoring in business with a concentration in accounting who is planning a career as a CPA.
Mimi Ford, an MGA accounting professor, is overseeing this volunteer work by Beattie-Moore and student Mary Neville. Ford said both students – “two of my best” – have taken and passed exams to become IRS certified to not just prepare but review most basic and advanced tax returns.
“It’s a compliment to be asked to review returns, not just prepare them,” said Ford, who also plans to assist citizens through VITA.
This is the first year MGA accounting students have participated in the program. VITA offers free tax help to people in low-to-moderate income brackets or have disabilities or limited English speaking skills.
Beattie-Moore is a graduate of Bibb County’s Rutland High. She chose the accounting concentration because she’s good at math and wanted to use those skills to pursue a high-paying career.
“I’m glad I can help people who need it and give back” to the community, she said.
Neville, 67, is a retired finance director in state government who decided to return to college to finish her business degree.
“I signed up to take a course in taxation in the fall of 2019 and was told about this internship opportunity with the IRS,” she said. “The VITA Program is especially interesting to me because I am a senior. I would welcome the chance to assist other seniors while gaining more experience in taxation and management.”
Besides Ford and the two students, Tabitha Floyd, a lecturer of accounting at MGA, will also do VITA work this tax season through a program sponsored by AARP.
The students will receive MGA experiential learning credit for participating, but Ford said she expects Beattie-Moore and Neville will get a great deal of satisfaction out of helping others.
“This is a needed service that helps people for whom the cost of tax preparation and financial advice can pose an economic hardship,” she said.