Learn to prepare taxes! The spring semester is approaching, and now is the time to sign up for this unique community learning experience.

PBPL 310: Tax Policy and Inequality is a course in which you will:

  • Receive IRS training to achieve basic certification in tax preparation.

  • Learn about tax policies (and the politics behind them)

  • Volunteer at the Trinity VITA tax clinic at Trinfo.cafe

Contact Serena Laws, [email protected], for more information.

In the Political Science course “Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford” (PBPL 310), students learn about the tax code and the history of tax credits in the classroom, and then are trained as IRS-certified tax preparers. The course reviews scholarship on the politics and policies that led to the growth of social programs in the tax code and includes hands-on learning about the intersection between tax policy and social policy.

For the Community Learning component, students are trained to do income tax preparation and volunteer for six hours per week to assist Hartford community members in the VITA tax clinic at Trinfo Café.

“The students learn so much about how policy works on the ground and how difficult it is to make ends meet as a lower wage worker in Connecticut right now,” says Trinfo VITA clinic site director Serena Laws, Senior Lecturer in Political Science and an IRS-trained Trinfo VITA clinic site supervisor.

Past Student Experiences

“I learned the sheer complexity of the tax system, but also the struggles that low-income families face that I wasn’t aware of. So just understanding that they might have four different jobs and they’re making nothing, essentially. And then you throw in a kid and rent… I just didn’t understand before.” – Tommy Peduto ’21

“This course gave me a better understanding of the tax code, specifically how taxes are filed, what all the forms are, how refunds work… Before this I wasn’t exposed to the process and I feel like it’s going to be helpful in the future for all of us.” – Mary Meza Celis ’22

“This was by far the most interesting and rewarding class that I have taken at Trinity. I went into the class with basic knowledge of the tax system. But, after taking the class I have a deeper understanding of the rampant inequality many families face at tax time. I truly felt the impact of my work in the clinic. Everyday felt rewarding when I was able to get the tax credits or reduce their tax bill by helping them understand programs they otherwise would never know about.” – Antonio Guirola ’22

“Everyday I worked in the tax clinic was rewarding, engaging, and informative. This was the first time I truly felt engaged with the community around our campus. I would recommend the class to anyone that wants to get more out of their Trinity experience, and that is interested in pursuing public interest work.” – Djamilatou Camera ’22