Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Julia East

Abstract

Many volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites experience inaccuracy in the taxes prepared according to audits conducted by the treasury inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA). Effective training strategies may influence the accuracy rates of tax returns prepared at VITA sites. Following the conceptual framework of the human capital theory, this multiple case study described the training strategies used by 4 VITA site coordinators in northwest Indiana. An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) representative overseeing the VITA sites identified the 4 site coordinators as achieving an exceptional accuracy rating. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, the annual VITA site coordinator's manual provided by the IRS, and the 2013 report issued by the TIGTA concerning inaccuracy rates. Data were analyzed using Yin's approach of converging multiple types of evidence to help draw conclusions. Emergent themes included multiple training strategies, mostly dependent on the size of the VITA site; quality reviews and their critical role in ensuring the accuracy of taxes prepared at VITA sites; and annual certification requirements to help verify volunteers' understanding of tax law. Positive social change might occur when qualifying taxpayers gain access to the tax knowledge and expertise of volunteer tax preparers, resulting in more confidence in their tax situations. Underserved individuals should receive the tax credits and deductions to which they are entitled through accurate tax preparation.