Recently, students in the accounting program at Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) presented a seminar on tax tips for students. As a service learning project, other students and MSB staff were invited to attend. The presentation was filmed by MSB digital video staff in order to share it with those unable to attend.
Students Emma Thielen, Reggie Ambrutis and Ivette Valdes took turns walking attendees through a series of education related tax-filing guidelines.
With a PowerPoint presentation, written notes, and copies of relevant filing forms, Emma, Reggie and Ivette explained the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction. They informed their audience about educational savings accounts, income limits, penalties for early IRA account withdrawals, and qualified tuition deductions.
The accounting students spoke about scholarships, educational savings bonds, and which deductions and credits students could be utilizing to their advantage.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Emma, Reggie and Ivette, along with their instructor Chris Strand, fielded questions from the audience.
One member of the audience, paralegal program student, Francisco Moran, said of the seminar: “I will definitely use the information they gave me.” In particular, he had not previously known about Form 8863 (Education Credits—American Opportunity And Lifetime Learning Credits).
Business management student, Sara Boothe, described the presentation as “informative.”
Projects such as these provide students with the opportunity to hone their accounting skills as well as their public speaking skills. Presenter, Emma Thielen, said of speaking before an audience: “It was very uncomfortable.” She then laughed and said, “It really wasn’t that bad!”
Her partner, Ivette Valdes agreed that the presentation was “nerve-wracking,” but putting the information together in preparation for the event “was definitely informative.”
Ivette provided the example of the Coverdell Education Savings Plan (an account created as an incentive to help parents and students save for education expenses) as a piece of information she hadn’t known about before the project.
Nerves may have been wracked, but experience and knowledge were gained!
If you would like to watch the video and perhaps learn something new about education and taxes too, see it here.