For the eighth year, UNL is providing free tax preparation services for students and low-income working families.
The service-learning project is organized by the Center for Civic Engagement in conjunction with the Lincoln Family Economic Security Partnership Coalition. More than 65 UNL students have become certified tax prep volunteers this year. The group will process between 1,200 to 1,400 federal and state tax returns.
Kyla McGregor, a graduate student studying accounting and assistant coordinator for the UNL tax prep site, said the project is a unique opportunity to give back and earn real-world experience.
“The payoff is getting to see all kinds of different people, talk with them and help them figure out taxes and get some money back,” McGregor said. “Also, being an accounting major, it gives me a little more real-life experience in client relations and learning how to talk to communicate a fairly difficult topic to people who often don’t know a lot about the process.”
The free service opened Jan. 18 and is offered through Feb. 23 in the East Union and from March 1-12 in the Nebraska Union.
The East Union sessions, all on the third floor, are 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays in February.
The Nebraska Union sessions, all in the Colonial Room, are 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“Participating in the free tax preparation services is always exciting,” McGregor said. “In general, everyone is grateful for the assistance. But, there’s always a couple of people who don’t expect much and walk away excited because we were able to get them back a good amount of money.”
Civic Engagement is also seeking faculty, staff and student volunteers to assist with international a student/scholar tax preparation service. The training session is 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Nebraska Union auditorium. The non-resident tax prep program runs from Feb. 25 to April 8.
For more information about any of the sessions and qualifying for the free tax preparation, go to http://engage.unl.edu/unl-tax-credit-campaign or contact the Center for Civic Engagement at 402-472-6150.