Manhattan College Students Help Bronxites Navigate Tax Season

Nearly 40 Manhattan College students are volunteering to help neighbors file their taxes.

Students at computer screens assisting with tax returnsFor the past decade during February and March, Manhattan College accounting students in the O’Malley School of Business have volunteered at the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) to help fellow Bronxites prepare their tax returns. 

At UNHP, nearly 40 Manhattan College students are working with other college students from across the Bronx to assist neighbors with their annual tax returns. 

Since 2010, student volunteers have filed taxes for more than 12,000 families at UNHP through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, known as VITA.

In 2019, Manhattan College students worked with the program’s volunteers to prepare more than 1,500 returns. The students helped Bronx residents receive more than $2 million in state and federal refunds, with the preparations done free of charge, helping filers avoid predatory tax services.

In preparation for the volunteer program, the Manhattan students must take an IRS certification course and software training, where they prepare sample returns. The students also have to learn about New York State filing and Tax Wise, a tax and accounting software used by tax professionals and accountants to file tax returns.

For the 2020 tax season, UNHP free tax preparation is available by appointment on select Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Wednesday, April 8. UNHP is located at Refuge House – 2715 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458. 

To schedule an appointment, or for more information, call 718-933-2539.

By Pete McHugh