The tax programs at Weber State University have experienced some major growth this summer.

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Student volunteers of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program aid with tax returns at the Center for Tax Education & Research at Weber State University. (Source: Ryan Pace)

Amid recent national recognition for the success of the Master of Tax program, the WSU Center for Tax Education & Research was officially approved by the Board of Regents at the beginning of this month as a resource for both students and community members.

“The idea came because we have different activities relating to tax,” MTax director Ryan Pace said of the center. “We have the master of taxation program where students can get a master’s degree in taxations. We also do Continuing Education programs for CPAs, lawyers and other members of the community who are interested in learning more about tax and tax updates.”

The center will bring the three parts of the taxation program together in one cohesive program. There is the master’s program for students, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) for community members and Continuing Educations Seminars for professionals.

Dean of the Master of Taxation program Jeff Steagal said, “I really like that we’re going beyond the borders of the campus and providing for the community businesses.”

In Weber State University’s catalog, it says, “the center will offer continuing education programs to tax professionals and engage in other tax-related activities such as providing tax return preparation assistance to qualifying members of the public at no cost through the VITA program, hosting students tax competitions and organizing seminars to discuss contemporary issues in taxation.”

The program has three options, so anyone can receive help. With this, Pace’s hope is that when anyone needs help, whether they are a community member, a business owner or even a professional lawyer, they know that they can seek out Weber State University’s tax program for assistance.

“Ultimately, the goal is for Weber State to be recognized as the place to go for tax education and research,” Pace said. “We feel like this could be a valuable service for everyone.”

Although the center has started business, it is not completely set up yet. Pace said that he is currently trying to set up a board of directors. The directors include professionals in the community to help advise the activities they would like to do. “It will hopefully be put together by mid fall semester,” Pace said.

If students or community members wish to speak to anyone within the center, the directors for the Goddard School of Business and Economics are located in the Wattis Building, which is located on the Davis campus within a suite near the dean’s office. The center is not an official building, and the activities are located across various campuses (i.e. Salt Lake City, Station Park, Davis and the Ogden campus).

“We’re not acting as a Law firm or Accounting firm,” said Pace, “but an outlet for information in helping people find answers.”

The center is available to assist local community members as well as business owners and professionals, but it is not a firm and cannot give legal advice.

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