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School of Business Administration

Flyers and Taxes

Before this year, Andrew Farkas had never done his own taxes. Now, the first-year accounting major is a certified advanced preparer helping people from Dayton file their returns for free through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The experience has helped him land a summer internship with Marcum, a leading national accounting and advisory firm.

“It has been very rewarding to get to help people and provide a service that can get them back crucial money that helps them and their families,” Farkas said.

About 3,000 individuals and families use the tax preparation assistance each year in the Dayton area, said Tom Mott, a UD alumnus who has volunteered with the program for two decades. Mott has trained about 275 UD students to assist since 2009. Students must pass at least three exams to file returns for eligible taxpayers at the job center site operated with the city of Dayton. More information on the program is available on the IRS website.

“Our efficiency depends on the great work done by the UD students,” said Mott, who noted that tax credits like earned income credit, child tax credit and education credits result in refunds of more than $4 million each year, money that is put back into the community.

UD students from all majors have volunteered in the past; and volunteers have the option to enroll in a one-credit course in the School of Business Administration with accounting Associate Professor Sarah Webber when participating in the program.

“Service-based learning is at the heart of what we do at the University of Dayton,” Webber said. “We are thrilled to see students engaged with and giving back to our local community.” 

Junior accounting major Benjamin Bitner said the experience has taught him to explain a complex topic in a way that is clear to clients he serves.

“The tax system can be very confusing to people from the outside, so it's important to learn how to discuss it at a level that helps the clients in tax planning for years to come,” he said.

Bitner and Farkas participated in the city of Dayton’s Super Refund Saturday event that brought together volunteers to prepare a larger number of returns, with support from Key Bank and Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims.

They said the experience has allowed them to help their friends, families and even themselves this tax season. 

“This was the first year I filed my own taxes. It was useful to be able to take all the knowledge I gained from this program and apply it to my own taxes,” Farkas said. “And being able to talk about the tax knowledge I have gained in VITA directly led to my success in recent interviews. I will definitely continue volunteering with this program.”

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