These ECU students are serving in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. On the front row are: (left to right) Diamond King, of the Bahamas; Jennifer Martinez, of Pauls Valley and Kyndra Shaw, Ada. The next row includes: (left to right) Kelly Dickey, Seminole; Brandon Privett, Ada and Kelsey Hinds, Coalgate. On the third row are: Robin Monetathchi; Kayla Pogue, Pauls Valley and Danielle Rice, Norman. Standing in back is Edward Hobbs, director of ECU’s VITA Program.

East Central University and the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business will once again participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

VITA is a national program, supported by the Internal Revenue Service, designed to provide free tax assistance to individuals with basic tax returns, particularly those with low and fixed incomes. The returns in the VITA center will be e-filed. ECU students, along with other volunteers, will provide the service.

“This is a useful service to the community and is beneficial to our students who get an invaluable real-world, hands-on experience in dealing with clients,” said Edward Hobbs. “I see it as win-win situation for everyone.”

According to Hobbs, the student volunteers are, in general, advanced accounting majors who have taken ECU’s individual income tax course. They have attended classes, using materials provided by the IRS, to assist them in identifying and understanding issues they will likely encounter at the VITA center.

“They have received training on the tax software they will be using,” Hobbs said. “They have also taken and passed at least three IRS VITA certification exams. It is apparent to me that these students are highly motivated to both excel in their profession and to provide assistance, where needed, to their local communities.”

The VITA site, located at the Chickasaw Treasury Building at 515 Arlington in Ada, will open on Feb. 16. The operation schedule for February 16 through March 12 is Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Beginning March 22, the site will be open Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through April 14.

For more information about VITA, call 580-272-5798.



For Immediate Release: 

            Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                          East Central University Communications and Marketing

                          580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)