Press Release

Franklin University Announces Eighth Year of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Launches


Sherry Mercurio
Executive Director, Office of Community Relations
(614) 947-6581

Columbus, OH (February 18, 2022)

Franklin University, a leader in educating working adults in central Ohio, is proud to announce its continued participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. In its eighth year of partnering with United Way of Central Ohio’s Tax Time to deliver free tax preparation services, Franklin will leverage the expertise developed providing online support to once again virtually host this year’s site. The VITA service is available to those with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers in the central Ohio community, and is offered to provide staffing to  prepare tax returns for filers with $58,000 or less in income.

Disruption has been a constant theme over the past year. As many have either lost a job or turned to free-lance work, navigating taxes has become a challenge. As a result of this year’s level of uncertainty, United Way and Franklin expect to assist over 300 clients in filing their taxes through the Franklin University site, nearly doubling the number of clients served three years ago.

As the pandemic forced many volunteer services to pull back their efforts due to staffing shortages or limited onsite services, Franklin remains dedicated to upholding its commitment to the Columbus region. In anticipation of the increased need, the University has secured volunteers, comprised of the University’s lead faculty, staff, and alumni volunteers. Returning to lead the Franklin VITA host site efforts is Professor Annette Hoelzer, Forensic Accounting lead faculty. Adding to the volunteer effort are Franklin University undergraduate and graduate students who, through participation in VITA, will gain real-life skills in financial accounting and customer service aptitude while bolstering their Franklin education.

“We want our students to graduate not only with the relevant skills and knowledge to be successful in their careers, but also recognize the importance of their social responsibilities as citizens,” according to Franklin’s Dr. Martina Peng, chair of Department of Accounting, Finance, and Risk Management.

Over the last month, volunteers have put their trained knowledge to the test by becoming IRS-certified. Training consists of 30 mandated videos covering topics ranging from filing status to determining alien tax status.

Eligible candidates can call 2-1-1 or go to to see if they qualify for this free tax preparation service or make an appointment.

To learn more about Franklin’s online master’s in Accounting program rated the #1 Online Accounting Degree, visit:

About Franklin University

Accredited, nonprofit, and dedicated to educating adults since 1902, Franklin provides onsite course options at our Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and is an innovator in providing personalized online education. The University offers applied in-demand undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. Through agreements with partner institutions, the University also offers international academic programs, including its top-ranked MBA.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds specialized accreditations for specific academic programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Franklin University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

News Type

  • University