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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

And our clients had much to say about our students' efforts:

"Wow!!! I am simply amazed by the help and service I received. It was friendly and professional. I am fully confident that everything was completed correctly. I will be a return client!"

"I was incredibly satisfied with the help I received.  All persons I came across today treated me with respect and were so kind to explain things to me.  I even get a credit this year, thanks to my tax preparer’s knowledge.  You guys are fabulous."

"Everyone is so helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. Wish I would have found this years ago."


The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is an IRS initiative designed to promote and support free tax preparation service for the underserved, low income populations. These include the elderly, disabled, limited-English- speaking, rural communities, and Native American taxpayers. Davenport University became involved in the VITA program over nine years ago with a handful of students. In 2008, DU opened its own tax sites, managed entirely by DU students.  

In 2010 Davenport University spearheaded a West Michigan Collegiate VITA Partnership and has partnered with several local institutions every year since.

Currently we have over 110 student volunteers from Davenport University, Cornerstone University, and Aquinas College.

We have sites located in three counties in West Michigan, however, DU student volunteers participate in VITA across the state of Michigan. Sign-ups are throughout the months of November and December and the tax season runs from January through April 15.

Stats for 2015 Tax Season

  • Refunds totaling more than $7.8 million
  • 6,660+ volunteer hours recorded                
  • 65 DU students and alumni participated
  • 16 sites across West Michigan


2015 DU Site Coordinators
Hiren Ashara, alumnus Callie Courtright, alumnus Brian Jager, alumnus
Lori Bessinger, alumnus Barbara Gering, alumnus/staff Melissa Palmores, alumnus
Cory Brown, student Scott Gumieny, staff Greg Scholten, student
Ben Brewer, student Katherine Hood, student Tamara VandenBerg, staff
Tara Colvin, alumnus Lana Huston, alumnus Courtney Ziny, alumnus


Why do students volunteer in the VITA program? 

Some DU students use this experience as an internship, others to fulfill their Accounting Honors Program 60 hour service learning project while other students find the program offers real world experience that is terrific preparation for a career in tax preparation.  Many employers are hiring students with VITA service on their resumes, and see it as a very valuable real-world experience. 

To learn more about VITA volunteer tax assistance, contact Judy Knapp at

For additional information on site locations and tax appointments, visit