Buckhannon-Upshur HS offering tax prep course

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:59 PM EST
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BUCKHANNON, W.Va (WDTV) - Monday marks the official start of tax season.

For some paying to file, tax returns can be a tough bill to foot. Some local students are trying to help.

There are a lot of subjects for high schoolers to spend their time on, but at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, you might not expect tax returns to be one of those.

It’s through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. also known as VITA. It’s an IRS service that offers free tax prep for certain groups, primarily people who have a low income.

Buckhannon-Upshur is the only high school in the state doing it.

Their teacher, Christy Dean, said it’s a unique opportunity for the students.

“We have students who are tax law certified to be able to prepare free income tax, federal and state income tax for low to middle income families.”

Most of the students have completed personal finance and business classes to prepare for VITA. Although the course can be difficult, Dean said it’s a great life skill to have because everyone has to pay taxes.

“There was a lot of work they had to go though to be able to earn the certification, and we just wanted to be able to be a help to our community.”

This is the first year Buckhannon-Upshur has offered the program. Right now, there are 11 students taking the course.

“They are gaining a lot of knowledge from what they have been doing. They are able to see that they can process things a lot of people find very difficult and challenging. I also think they are taking away the important aspect of giving back to others and also understand that they just have to try.”

Dean said her goal is to add more VITA sites throughout the community.

If someone would like their taxes done by one of the students, they can contact Buckhannon-Upshur High School.