Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, May 05, 2008

Results of Xavier accounting students' free tax assistance

This past February, we published this press release from Xavier announcing that the university’s accounting students would provide free basic Federal and State income tax assistance to low income and elderly taxpayers in Norwood Evanston, and Avondale. Was the program a success? According to the following press release we received, the 20 accounting students prepared 290 tax returns, which translated into a total savings of $87,000 for their clients:


Xavier accounting students and three volunteer alumni prepared 290 tax returns for low income and elderly taxpayers in the Evanston/Norwood area during the six weeks of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). Sixty-eight of these returns were prepared for mentally and/or physically challenged adults who reside in group homes. The total dollars of Earned Income Credit received by these taxpayers was $71,140; total tax refunds received were $230,591.

“The average charge by a paid tax preparer for a return of the typical level of difficulty seen during the free VITA program would be $300,” says Priscilla O’Clock, Xavier accounting professor and head of the VITA program. “This translates into an approximate $87,000 savings for our clients.”

Twenty accounting students from Xavier gave up their Monday evenings to translate their classroom learning into a real world benefit.