UNLV Collegiate DECA Takes On Tax Season
Michelle Le | UNLV Collegiate DECA
When thinking of community service, one most likely envisions food banks, shelters, or events. However, UNLV Collegiate DECA is redefining service by applying their business skills to a different type of volunteering project needed in the community: tax preparation assistance.
UNLV DECA partnered with a local organization, the Asian Community Development Council, which works with AARP, a national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Americans aged 50 and over to choose how they live as they age. Together, they work to provide free tax-aide assistance to the elderly within the Nevada community and those with low income.
In order to begin volunteering, members of the UNLV DECA chapter had to go through a week-long tax training class that delved into the basic of taxes all the way into different scenarios they would likely encounter and how to face them. This also involves learning the software to prepare the taxes and understanding where numbers on different documents go into.
The training ends after passing a certification test to be a tax aide counselor and the awarding of the AARP Tax Aide Counselor button-up shirt. The most surprising part of the training is that the members are the youngest in the group. Most of the tax aide counselors are retired and are quickly surprised to see young faces still in college.
The individuals that come in to get their taxes done are those who appreciate that students are volunteering their time to provide this service. Many of the individuals are retired and impart their life knowledge to our members. Sometimes English is not the first language for a client and members have the opportunity to translate.
The service to the community can be difficult with the various tax documents to be reviewed, but at the end of the day, the clients are grateful for the service. Some even return to bring food for the volunteers.
One DECA volunteer recalls of a client who said, “Thank you. I used to do this, but now that I’m 92, the numbers are everywhere.”
Currently, UNLV DECA has completed over 30 taxes and will continue up to the deadline to file.
This article was written by UNLV Collegiate DECA President, Michelle Le. You can follow UNLV Collegiate DECA on Twitter @UNLVDECA.