In the Political Science course “Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford,” 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 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. The course is a Community Learning course where students take their learning beyond the classroom and gain firsthand experience with preparing taxes for the community.

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