The UMSL VITA program is one of the largest and most appreciated community service programs that UMSL operates. We have around 120 volunteers and service hundreds of residents within the St. Louis and St. Charles communities. Clients are our community neighbors who normally can’t afford to pay someone to complete their tax returns and/or are not able to prepare their returns without assistance. Our citizens rely on this program every season and without this assistance would be hard pressed to get their returns done. In many cases, they have transportation challenges, so we operate four facilities (at an area church and three libraries) strategically located in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas running six sessions per week.
Our tax preparers, faculty and site leaders include students from two universities, graduates, faculty and staff members from the universities, and citizens from our communities. Clients are extremely grateful for this service. Volunteers also reap a variety of rewards from their participation. Students can receive scholarships, credit hours, and tremendous learning experience for their efforts, both in tax expertise and working with the citizens of our communities. Non-student volunteers, faculty, and staff also gain the tax expertise and experience, and everyone gains a feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment from helping our fellow citizens.