January 4, 2023
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and its Department of Business Administration are partnering with Habitat for Humanity to offer free tax preparation services to local residents in need through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. MCLA will offer in-person, drop-off, and virtual tax assistance to qualified taxpayers beginning February 6.
Individuals can call Habitat for Humanity at (413) 442-3184 to schedule an appointment or drop off tax documents at the site and a certified volunteer will work to prepare the tax return. Drop-off hours occur on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-8 p.m. in MCLA’s Murdock Hall. Appointments are not required for drop-off services but are required for in-person services. The program runs through April 12, 2023.
Habitat for Humanity administers VITA, a program of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to assist taxpayers with disabilities or limited English speaking skills, those 60 years of age or older, or individuals who make $60,000 or less a year. MCLA students assist with both basic and advanced returns, including those with itemized deductions.
According to MCLA Professor of Accounting Tara Barboza, an enrolled agent with the United States Department of the Treasury and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the students who participate in this program undergo rigorous training, become IRS certified, and work under her supervision.
In addition to meeting a significant need in Northern Berkshire County, Barboza said, “Participating in the VITA program is a unique opportunity that will provide students with valuable, hands-on preparation experience.” Students earn college credit by participating in the program and accounting students can use the credit toward requirements for the CPA exam.
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, leaders, and communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 128-year commitment to public education, we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For 10 of the last 12 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Since the list was created, MCLA has risen to #33 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and ranks first among all Massachusetts liberal arts schools, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants. Learn more at www.mcla.edu