NewsLafayette Parish


Acadiana High once again provides tax preparations for community

Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 22:13:42-05
Acadiana High Tax Students

Acadiana High is once again providing tax services to the community for free.

Part of the school's business academy, volunteers will be helping out those who need their income tax returns prepared this year.

Academy Director Stephanie Bennett says that the VITA tax preparation site on campus has been around for 15 years and students have been preparing and learning about the tax process since its inception.

"It's a job skill that the students learn," Bennett said. "So student learn how taxes work, what it means to get a refund, what it means when you have to pay back and what withholdings are. They are learning about taxes."

Those who drop off their tax paperwork may be surprised that the students are the ones preparing.

"The students are performing all the tax paperwork that gets dropped off at Acadiana," Bennett explained.

She clarifies that the students do all the inputting during the preparation process but work is double-checked by staff. The staff then meets with the clients to return documents to them.

Bennett says that, so far, 100 returns have been successfully processed this season. It's a success that has been a part of the program every year.

"Definitely trust the students. Don't think that because it's students doing it that it's not as good as some paid provider. Our students have been successful for 15 years."

The is the first year Acadiana High is only doing drop offs. In the past, those looking to get their taxes done were able to meet with staff at the school.

"This works better with the school schedule, with the student schedule," Bennett said. "We plan to do it in the future."

Bennett says that she hopes that by working on the tax returns, students feel better about doing taxes themselves but also feel better about helping provide a community service.

"Students feel the benefit of really helping people do their taxes."

The service is free to the community and appointments can be made by calling the school office at 337-521-6950. More information will be provided to those interested.