Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dawn M. Baunach

Second Advisor

Ben L. Kail

Third Advisor

Deirdre A. Oakley


This research explored the efficacy of the Volunteer Return Preparation Program (VRPP) for low-income taxpayers. VRPP facilitates free tax return preparation assistance to low-income taxpayers through partnering organizations in local communities across the United States. The project consisted of the following objectives: 1) to examine the demographic and tax filing characteristics of taxpayers that use VRPP and how they compare to a random sample of non-users, 2) to identify the extent to which VRPP users and non-users claimed select tax credits and the extent to which the utilization is explained by profile characteristics, and 3) to assess neighborhood level factors that influence VRPP participation. By focusing on a government program that is structured to provide assistance to individuals that are economically disadvantaged, this research sheds light on the efficacy of the program, while explaining participation.

Available for download on Saturday, January 03, 2099