When the University of Notre Dame began accepting a significant number of international students in the late 1980s, the Tax Assistance Program expanded to support the reporting needs of international students, researchers, visiting scholars, and faculty. Services provided to these members of the university community from other countries include, but are not limited to, the preparation of income tax returns for the current tax year. The program also offers assistance in related income tax matters. Services are offered year-round but are provided primarily between early February and the middle of April.
The program also provides limited services by email to qualified clients. These include (1) students studying abroad; (2) students who spent at least one semester at Notre Dame during the tax year and will not be returning to campus; and (3) visiting scholars who have returned to their home country.
As with the Community Program, which had begun earlier, the International Tax Assistance Program was spearheaded by Professor Ken Milani of the Department of Accountancy. In addition to Professor Milani, the International TAP has a staff of one full-time and three part-time employees. Tax preparation services during the season are provided by students enrolled in a graduate accounting course, Income Taxation of International Individuals, which will be taught in the Spring of 2018 by Joe Zavisca.
In 1999, the University received a generous donation to fund the work of this long-established program. The donation was made in honor of and in the name of Vivian Harrington Gray. The donor describes Mrs. Gray in these words:
“Vivian Harrington Gray was a school teacher in northwestern Wisconsin. She supported two sons as they attended Notre Dame. Both sons studied accounting, one had a career in business and the other a career in the Army. A grandson also studied accounting at Notre Dame.
In her retirement, Mrs. Gray volunteered her time to assist low income individuals in the preparation of their taxes. The endowment in her name was established by a family member to recognize her support of her children's education in accounting and her example as a volunteer.”
The Vivian Harrington Gray Notre Dame – Saint Mary’s Tax Assistance Program is a registered VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) site, recognized and certified by the Internal Revenue Service. VITA sites and their volunteer participants are required to meet strict ethical standards and training requirements.