High School Students Prepare Taxes for Free

High School Students Prepare Taxes for Free Through IRS Volunteer Program
Posted on 04/11/2022
Students for Tax prep

Students from two School District of Palm Beach County high schools are preparing taxes at no cost to qualifying individuals, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, thanks to a collaboration with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“It makes me feel great to see the joy on people’s faces when you finish their taxes,” said Woodjina Fils-Aima, a 12th grade student at Santaluces Community High School. “You can see you’re making a difference in someone’s life.”

Santaluces Community High School and Lake Worth Community High School student volunteers were trained by the IRS for several weeks to become tax preparers. They had to successfully pass three exams, and in doing so, they earned tax preparation certifications.

“I am immensely proud of my student volunteers,” said Veronica Kivela, Teacher and Program Site Coordinator at Santaluces High, who also passed the exams. “They truly exceeded my expectations by not only doing an outstanding job preparing tax returns, but also in being able to teach their family and community members more about the tax preparation process. I know this VITA Program experience will serve them well into the future.”

The students are preparing for a successful life beyond graduation by engaging in essential interpersonal communication and business skill building, all while learning the basics of tax law. They are also using their multilingual skills, speaking Haitian-Creole and Spanish to assist community residents who may have limited English proficiency.

“We’re always looking for ways to connect what we’re doing in the classroom to the community, and this has done exactly that,” said Aaron Standish, the District’s Financial Literacy Coordinator.

The tax preparation service is offered free of charge to low to moderate-income taxpayers. This includes students, school staff, and the public. Community members still have time to make use of the VITA program. More information and VITA locations can be found on the IRS website.

The School District of Palm Beach County