(March 14, 2013)

Frost School of Business launches annual tax program

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Frost School of Business has launched its 5th annual tax program, February 1—April 15. Centenary professors Dr. Helen B. Sikes, CPA, and Dr. Barbara J. Davis, CPA, manage the program, which assists members of the Centenary family and the surrounding Highland neighborhood with filing their tax returns.

"We ask that people have total income of less than $50,000 and be a US citizen," said Dr. Sikes. "This is consistent with the guidelines set by the IRS for their Volunteer Tax Assistance Program."

The students, who work as volunteers under the supervision of Drs. Sikes and Davis, use professional tax software to prepare the returns and file them electronically. Any student who has completed the Individual Income Tax Course, taught in the fall semester, is eligible to participate. In return, the students can satisfy the service-learning component of Trek. Trek is an experience-based program designed to enhance students' self-knowledge and social awareness through the exploration of career, culture, and community.

"I wanted to participate in the program because I knew that it would prepare me for my future of being an accountant," said sophomore Gregory Monette. "The interaction with clients is an awesome experience as well. It's amazing how fast we are able to put our skills into action from the classroom right to the tax lab."

Besides giving back to the community, the tax program gives students valuable real-world experience. The students are able to relate experiences and knowledge gained from the preparations, and prospective employers observe their abilities to relate to clients, record information, ask questions, and help taxpayers complete their filing requirements for the IRS and all the State Taxing Jurisdictions.

"It is a great program, and we have return clients every year," said Sikes. "Some of the junior students who participated last year are volunteering again just to stay current with their tax planning skills."

The Frost School of Business Community Tax Program was funded in part through an award from the Board of Regents Support Fund. Community members interested in receiving assistance with their tax returns should contact 318.869.5182.