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Adams State and Piton Foundation partner to offer free tax prep

With tax season upon us, Tax Help Colorado benefits San Luis Valley families


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For the eighth year, the Adams State University School of Business is partnering with the Denver-based Piton Foundation to help hard-working families in the San Luis Valley become more financially secure. A group of 60 students has provided free tax preparation assistance through the Tax Help Colorado program since late January.

The service is available to those with household incomes of less than $54,000 a year.

Tax Help Colorado operates 22 free tax sites statewide. More than 30 percent of Colorado families are eligible to participate in the free and confidential program.

To date this year, the Adams State site has returned $1,206,336 in federal and state refunds to families in the community. Nearly one-third of those refunds ($339,631) are from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that helps boost the incomes of low-wage, working families. The federal credit is worth up to $6,200, and Coloradans who qualify receive an additional 10 percent from the state credit.

Patrons also save on commercial tax preparation costs.

"Adams State's partnership with the Piton Foundation benefits community members and provides valuable experience for our IRS-certified accounting students," says University President Beverlee J. McClure.

Student volunteers completed a tax accounting course in the fall to become IRS-certified to file returns. They are trained to ensure taxpayers get the best refund possible, identifying those who qualify for the EITC and other tax credits for working families.

One patron who has used the service for three years commended the students on their professional appearance and demeanor.

Sheryl Abeyta, assistant professor of accounting and coordinator of the tax service at Adams State explained:

Adams State is the only four-year institution offering the Tax Help Colorado service, according the Abeyta.

“We are very lucky and proud that ASU has chosen to continue to be a part of our program,” said Courtney O’Reilly, Tax Help Colorado program manager. “They take the Tax Help Colorado program to the next level by providing students with scholarship opportunities and leadership roles. We greatly appreciate their dedication to the program and to their community’s economic success.”

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ColoradoBiz staff

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