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UB students did 2,200 hours of tax help

Accounting students from the University at Buffalo's School of Management, who provided free tax preparation help for low-income taxpayers during the recent tax season, helped bring $1.35 million back into the Buffalo community, the school said Tuesday.

The 126 IRS-certified students provided nearly 2,200 hours of tax service during the 2012 season, preparing more than 900 tax returns for individuals and families earning less than $50,000. Nearly $262,000 of the total refunds resulted from the federal or state Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides a refundable credit to low-income working individuals or families.

"It means that we helped a number of families who needed it most," said Anna Qu, a School of Management student and co-chairwoman of the organizing committee.

The service, part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, was coordinated and led by UB's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honors fraternity for accounting and finance students and professionals.

In all, UB student volunteers have prepared more than 3,000 tax returns for low-income families over the past four years, bringing more than $4 million in tax refunds back to Buffalo, including $725,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

"We could not be more proud of our students and the impact they have made on the community with this initiative," Arjang A. Assad, dean of the UB School of Management, said in a news release. "Despite their class loads and other responsibilities, these students have been working virtually every weekend since January to make this program the outstanding success that it has been."