The IRS and the New Jersey Division of Taxation offer the TPI each year, which is sponsored by the NJAPA. The one-day seminar is designed to give intermediate and advanced tax preparers an update on changes in state and federal tax law, and in the past was held in six different locations, on different days, throughout the state.
But government budget cuts, limits on employee travel, and a presidential directive promoting virtual alternatives resulted in a need to present the TPI from one central location and broadcast to other schools throughout the state. Mercerís modern facilities, technology infrastructure, and other amenities, such as dining facilities, made The Conference Center a natural choice, according to Charles Robinson, president of the NJAPA.
"We chose this location because of Frank (Conference Center manager Frank DiBella) and the information technology guys," Robinson said. "Now we have a history, with a good base to build on. A good facility with great food entices people to get out."
So much so that attendance was up for the November TPI session, with more than 450 participants statewide. While similar TPI seminars are held throughout the nation, the NJAPA program is unique in that all proceeds are donated to the scholarship funds of partner colleges and universities. Last year’s TPI raised more than $17,000, which will be divided among the six partner schools according to attendance.
MCCC President Dr. Patricia Donohue said the college is pleased to host the annual event, as it fits well with Mercer’s mission.
"We are already working on the event for 2014," Poles said. "It really is for the students and scholarships. No one else really benefits except through the satisfaction of knowing we helped someone succeed in their endeavors."
"I think this is a great program," Donohue said. "The college is all about learning and success of our students, no matter what the age."
Poles said coordination for the seminar required a lot of effort from numerous individuals, including professors, students, and technology professionals at each of the schools hosting the interactive sessions. And the NJAPA looks forward to coming back to Mercer for the 2014 TPI.
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