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MHS Academy of Finance offering free tax preparation service

January 30, 2014

AOF student takes online IRS examThe Monticello High School Academy of Finance (AOF) is offering a free tax preparation service for individuals whose gross income was no more than $58,000 in 2013. This service is available from February 6-April 9, by appointment only.

For the past seven years, the AOF has provided this service, and students have prepared hundreds of returns for community members through VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. 

In order for AOF students to become tax preparers, they must first be certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Once they pass an on-line IRS exam, they earn a certificate indicating their capacity to perform the service.

The service gives students the chance to use their knowledge in a real life situation and provides them with an experience that connects them with the adult community of our district. It is also a confidence builder, as the AOF students move toward being independent adults and push themselves beyond their comfort zones. It also shows them the value of socially responsible behavior by assisting members of their community with a daunting task - taxes.

"It really is a win-win for everyone," says Monticello High School Principal Lori Orestano-James, "but our students, by far, get the most out of it. Not only are they gaining real-life work experience, but they experience everything that goes into running a small business: planning and marketing, working with customers, putting in extra hours and giving back to the community."

All returns that are prepared through the VITA program are subject to a final quality review process where all returns are checked by program supervisors before submission.

To make an appointment or to learn more about the service and hours of operation, contact Academy of Finance Director Susan Bahrenburg at 794-8840 ext. 10849.