10/6 - Professor Chinen was a part of a Manoa Housing Talk-Story Get-Together, held at the Treetops Restaurant in Manoa valley. Manoa Housing was federally-funded neighborhood of starter homes built for World War II veterans.
UH West Oahu students make tax time in Waianae less taxing3/31/07
Accounting and Business students from Professor Wayne Tanna’s Tax Concepts class at UH West Oahu helped to ease the tax filing burdens of some Waianae residents. The class had an option to do a term paper or a service-learning project at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site at the neighboring Leeward Community College (LCC) computer lab.
The students who opted for the VITA program had to master tax concepts and pass a test administered by the Internal Revenue Service. In satisfaction of their service-learning assignment the student assistants at the LCC site assisted hundreds of low and moderate income taxpayers with their tax returns in February and March.
However, this story is about six students from the class that chose to take a short ride with their instructor up the leeward coast to Waianae to staff two tax outreach clinics. This project was performed with the assistance of community partners that included the IRS, Aloha United Way and Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii.
One of the clinics was held at Leeward Community College’s Waianae Nanakuli Education Center. Here student tax assistants provided free tax preparation services for Waianae residents. The students helped low income working folks and saved them from having to pay the often times high fees for this service. They also assisted retired and disabled taxpayers comply with their legal responsibilities to file their taxes and also helped them to obtain valuable refunds and tax credits.
The second outreach clinic was performed at Catholic Charities Hawaii’s Maililand Homeless Transitional Shelter. At the shelter the students got to help homeless families that were working to lift themselves out of poverty and homelessness. Here the effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) were made visible and real. In class the students had heard lectures that explained the technical aspects of the federal EITC and learned that the EITC is the nation’s largest anti-poverty program. But it was here at Maililand that the economic effects the EITC were truly revealed. And at Maililand the student volunteers got a glimpse of the impact that UH West Oahu can have in the community.