Taxes by Teens

A Look at the Osborne Tax Center VITA Site

04-12-2017 · VITA


How would you feel about having your taxes prepared by a high school student? How about an IRS trained and certified high school student? At the Osborne Tax Center, a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site run in conjunction with Osborne High School, highly trained teens provide free tax preparation for eligible community members.

Giving Back & Gaining Job Skills
Led by teachers Michael DeVault and Katy Rathke, Osborne High School students who are enrolled in the Entrepreneurship class receive IRS tax preparation training and, in February, take a certification exam. After the exam, students are assigned job roles such as tax preparer, tax assistant, scheduler and administrative assistant.

While the VITA Osborne Tax Center is largely run by the high school students, the teens don’t go it alone. Students prepare taxes in teams — during each tax appointment, one student organizes the paperwork, one student files the taxes, and a teacher reviews the work before each return is filed.

Through VITA, Osborne High School students provide an important service for working families in Greater Atlanta. But they also gain job skills and build financial literacy, which will help them as they prepare to graduate high school and venture into the working world.

Yusef Eason, a senior at Osborne and an IRS certified tax preparer, says one of the biggest benefits of being a VITA volunteer is meeting new people: “It opens your eyes to jobs that are out there and what different families go through.”

VITA Free Tax Prep: A Vital Service to Our Community
Michael DeVault, who has spearheaded Osborne’s VITA program since it began 15 years ago, says that the students typically complete approximately 240 – 260 tax returns each year. The Osborne Tax Center is still taking appointments for tax preparation services through April 18. To make an appointment, call 678-744-6470 or email osbornetaxcenter@gmail.com. For directions or to learn more about the Osborne Tax Center, click here.

Wondering whether you’re eligible for VITA? To learn more about VITA, as well as to find a VITA location near you, click here.