Black Hills State University students are helping community members prepare their taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic.

BHSU offers an Advanced Income Tax course which allows students to become certified by the IRS to work as tax preparers in the clinic.

Chris Wardell, BHSU faculty member and CPA, said that VITA participants have already met with 80 clients and expect to exceed the total number of clients from last year.

Wardell notes that this an exceptional learning opportunity for BHSU students and a great service to the community. “Working in the clinic allows our students to obtain real-world experience preparing actual tax returns using tax software. This experience provides a baseline for the more complicated tax returns they may prepare after graduation while working in an accounting position,” Wardell shares.

“Working in the clinic also allows our students to demonstrate and develop client-interaction and problem solving skills that will be invaluable in any job they may hold in the future.”

Remaining sessions are scheduled in Jonas Room 205 from 4-7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • March 23
  • March 25
  • April 6
  • April 8

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to persons who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers will be available to provide free basic income tax return preparation and electronic filing to qualified individuals. For more information, please contact Chris Wardell at 605-642-6002 or