With Tax Day Two Months Away, Pitt Students Offer Free Help to Those Who Qualify

Along with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the students will provide free assistance for completion of 2021 tax returns.


Tax season can be a headache. But students in the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business are helping to make things a little easier for folks across the region.

For the 20th year, undergraduate business students will help those who make less than $57,000 annually with their taxes — domestic or international. The David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership is leading the collaboration with finance and accounting students in the College of Business Administration through Beta Alpha Psi.

Since 2002, 30 to 40 Pitt Business students have volunteered to support the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA), an IRS initiative to help the underserved through various partner organizations. But the VITA sites were always off-campus, and were sometimes run by other local colleges and universities rather than Pitt.

The program in its current form is going on its fourth year. It began in a small corner of the Carnegie Library in Oakland in 2018, and has gone on to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds for local taxpayers. Last year alone, the students generated nearly $400,000 in refunds to taxpayers — a $160,000 increase from the previous year. 

Through its emphasis on experiential learning, the volunteer effort “challenges accounting students to consider the community impact of accounting while gaining experience in working with individual taxes,” said Jocelyn Carlin, the site coordinator and Pitt clinical associate professor of business administration, in a press release.

This program has broadened the Berg Center’s impact by including accounting faculty and students in a program that has a direct benefit to the residents from communities in and around the university’s Oakland campus as well as assisting the region’s international population.

Assistance will be provided through April 15 in classroom A of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s main branch at 4400 Forbes Ave. To schedule an appointment, call 211 or visit this website. For virtual help, go to GetYourRefund.org.

Categories: The 412