For the fifth year in a row, Gov. Bob McDonnell has proclaimed (pdf) this week “Virginia Certified Public Accountants Week.” The VSCPA, which is our state society, has several activities planned for the week, concluding with Friday’s “Day of Service.”
Like many, I don’t just do a day of service once a year. I serve on enough nonprofit boards – my most recent one I joined just last week – that need my skills. But perhaps the one thing I have done this past year was to participate in the IRS VITA program, via the South Hampton Roads Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition. I spent many a year preparing tax returns for pay, but my career shift changed that. This past tax season, I put in a good number of hours preparing returns for free. (And I continue to serve as a reviewer for one of the year-round sites.) The experience was pretty amazing, not to mention humbling.
The very first day I showed up to prepare a return, a couple was there with tax issues that I had never encountered in 32 years of experience: tax treaties. Almost every session, I learned something. I’m already planning for next tax season – and hoping to get more of my students to participate. (In fact, I’d love to see a VITA site at the ODU campus, because there are both students and employees who could benefit from the service.)
So, as i say every year, be sure to hug your CPA this week 😉