HCC student helping people with tax returns

Bridgeport-taxreturns

Housatonic Community College student and tax volunteer Nicole Seymour of Bridgeport, left, helps fellow student Rebecca Odens of Ansonia with tax forms.

With the April 15 deadline for filing tax forms drawing near, people like Housatonic Community College student and Bridgeport resident Nicole Seymour are becoming more important than ever.

Seymour, an accounting major, is a volunteer for the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that offers free tax help to people who make $51, 000 or less. Volunteers such as Seymour, who are linked up with VITA by HCC’s business department, provide free income tax preparation and electronic filing for qualifying taxpayers.

“I volunteered for VITA so I could give back to the community,” Seymour said. “It’s fun helping people.”

Helping people in this way is nothing new for Seymour. She worked in accounting with her church, and often helped fellow members establish a budget for their families.

“In a way, this was giving back too,” she said. ‘I was helping people so they in turn could help others.”

Seymour also sees volunteering for VITA as something that will serve as a stepping stone for her career. She is looking at auditing as a career and sees experience with tax accounting as something that will benefit her in this endeavor.

“It will be valuable to have exposure to the whole process of filing taxes and learning what people can use for deductions,” Seymour said.

Auditing, she says, is something that fits with her personality.

“I like to see things in order,” she said. “If I see something out of order, I want to fix it. I’m a stickler for details.”

Seymour cut her auditing teeth while working for a bank.

“When the auditors came in, I was the contact person, the go-to person,” she said. “Whenever they needed something, they’d ask me to locate it. I was the one at the bank who was closest to the paperwork.”

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations. Seymour is volunteering at the Burroughs Community Center; call 203-334-0293 for an appointment.

To find other location, visit irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep and type in your zip code.

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