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Creighton students offer free tax assistance

Creighton University accounting students offer free tax help through VITA program
Posted at 6:49 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 16:15:14-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - — This tax season Creighton University accounting students are helping those who need it file their taxes.

"We are not confident enough to do it ourselves but they make the process very painless here," Andy Matz said.

Andy Matz, and his wife Natalie, get their taxes done at Creighton.

"I heard about this on the radio a few years ago and I was like we should go, we should check this out and you know," Natalie Matz said. "It's just on a Saturday, set aside some time and it's a fabulous service."

The Matz tell 3 News Now they've used the service for 4 years.

Dr. Tom Purcell, who's Creighton's accounting department chair has been involved in the program for nearly 40 years.

He says the IRS started the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, or VITA program, to help people get their refunds.

"There's a little bit of different language and vocabulary so I think people get hesitant because they're not familiar with that," Dr. Purcell said.

Dr. Purcell tells 3 News Now that's exactly why he puts his students to work during tax season.

He says it helps the people who need it, and gives his accounting students some experience outside the classroom.

"The students really get a great benefit from having client interaction, which is something that we talk about but it's hard to teach unless you actually do it," Dr. Purcell said.

Senior Matthew Kubicek helps organize the service on Creighton's campus.

"We've had a lot of repeat customers, I think we did 30 returns just this morning and I would say at least 10 [or] 15 of them had been here before," Kubicek said. "So it's just something they look forward to every year, just coming in and seeing the students."

Kubicek says he understands it can be intimidating, but he says the free service benefits the community.

And for Dr. Purcell, that's what it's all about.

"Jonas Salk once said the greatest opportunity for doing is the opportunity to do more, and so that's what we try to do. We try to do more, each year we do more returns we help more people because, we want to help those people rather than seeing them pay for a service that really .. they shouldn't have to pay for," he said.

The service is open to those making $56,000 or less a year.

The following dates remain:
Saturday, February 22nd
9 am to 5 pm, Creighton University Harper Center, Rooms 3040 and 3042

Saturday, February 29th
9 am to 5 pm, Creighton University Harper Center, Ahmanson Ballroom

You can find more information at https://business.creighton.edu/VITA