York College Student Volunteers Secure Over a Quarter Millsion Dollars in Refunds Providing Free Tax Preparation

April 11, 2008 | York College

Monday, April 7, 2008

YORK COLLEGE STUDENT VOLUNTEERS SECURE OVER A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS IN REFUNDS PROVIDING FREE TAX PREPARATION

York College Alumnus and now Assistant Professor Robert Clovey teaches accounting at his alma mater. Last year he decided to try something new with the students in his tax class. Why not offer a field training component for the students by having them volunteer to prepare real tax returns for real taxpayers free? The call went out and 75 students signed on for the two training sessions in order to pass the examination to become Internal Revenue Service certified volunteers.

When the idea was presented to the kinder and gentler IRS it was immediately encouraged and supported. But who would entrust their tax returns (and their refunds) to students? To date, 300 returns were transmitted electronically and 296 of them were accepted by the IRS. The standard rate of rejection is 10% and the volunteers’ rate is way below that. The total refund amount so far is $334,499.

“I’m hoping to turn this into our own York College campus program,” said Clovey. “I think that it’s really appropriate for our institution and our students. York College is the only one in Queens offering a volunteer program.” The volunteers have been preparing reports on campus since January 31, 7 days a week. The plan is to continue providing the service beyond April 15 for two days a week.

York College, a senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY), offers baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, accounting and business, communications technology, computer science, social work, teacher education, various health professions and aviation management. York College is the only CUNY senior college offering majors in gerontology, biotechnology, information systems management and a BS/MS degree in occupational therapy. For more information: http://www.york.cuny.edu