Loyola University Maryland students to offer free tax preparation
Loyola University Maryland will offer free tax preparation services from mid-February through early April at the Loyola Clinical Centers located at 5911 York Road in Belvedere Square. IRS-certified student volunteers from Loyola will prepare and e-file tax returns at no cost to qualifying taxpayers in the Baltimore community.
This is the fourth year Loyola will host a site offering free tax preparation services. The services are made possible through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) program in partnership with the nonprofit Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (CASH) Campaign of Maryland. Loyola has participated in the program for many years, but in the past, students volunteered at other sites.
“Loyola’s presence in the York Road corridor continues to be amplified with our VITA program,” said JP Krahel, Ph.D., chair of the department of accounting at the Sellinger School of Business. “Every year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are returned to the community, connections are made, and the neighborhood becomes stronger. I couldn’t be prouder of our students’ work through the Loyola VITA clinic.”
In prior years, Loyola students have prepared between 200 and 300 tax returns and facilitated hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds to members of the community.
Loyola’s tax preparation site is managed by Michael Bender, CPA, executive in residence in the department of accounting at the Sellinger School, and Emma Gaffney and Tarah Sipos, both enrolled in Loyola’s Master of Accounting graduate program. Together, they will supervise more than 30 student volunteers, who will spend an estimated 565 total hours at the site.
“The University and the Sellinger School view the VITA program as a critical service to the community and an exceptional learning opportunity for Loyola students. It’s a great example of a service-learning opportunity for our students,” Bender said.
The free tax preparation services are available to people who make $58,000 or less, people with disabilities and people with limited English-language skills who need assistance preparing their tax returns. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-234-8008 or visit BmoreFreeTaxes.org.