ST CHARLES, Mo. — For the past three years, the accounting majors and professors at Lindenwood have provided the community with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance for free. The clinic was originally started by former faculty member Lisa Bushur and is now overseen by Professor James Bosnick, who teaches Accounting courses and acts as the site coordinator for the clinic.
The tax clinic functions by having “community members from the local area, including some students...bring in their tax documents” and having the accounting students file their tax return. Most of the volunteers come from the “undergraduate Income Tax course,” and Professor Bosnick says he “makes a point to discuss the opportunity with our students and am always impressed with the level of interest from the students.”
Not only is this helpful to the people of St. Charles, “this program [also] helps accounting students by giving them true experiential learning with real world situations,” he adds. The clinic also adds credibility to Lindenwood’s accounting program because it offers students a chance to get practice in their future career field, and this is not something that every university offers.
As Bosnick reflects on the success of the tax clinic, he says, “In addition to the community members being assisted in filing their taxes completely free of charge, they also get to know Lindenwood University a little better as they come on campus to meet with us for the initial intake and the final review” of their tax return. This clinic helps establish Lindenwood as an integral part of the St. Charles community, as people from the area who attend the clinic now view the university as a place they can come for tax filing assistance. Hopefully, this results in even more community members coming to the clinic in the following years.
Overall, the clinic has been a major success for the accounting department at Lindenwood, as nine community members have been helped so far this year, and Bosnick “anticipate[s] [they] will get more [appointments] set up as we get closer to April 15.” Bosnick reflects on how “this type of experience is also great to discuss in interviews as our students are applying for internships and full-time positions in accounting,” so it is a success for both the community and students who are participating in it.
Learn more at: www.lindenwood.edu/business
Tori Lohmann is a senior at Lindenwood University, majoring in English. In addition, she is a staff writer for The Linden Gold, a collection of institutional success stories supported by the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.
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