Northeastern Junior College Celebrates 10 Years of Providing Free Tax Prep

A unique program started in 2009, equips Northeastern Junior College (NJC) students to serve their community by providing free tax prep to families.

March 7, 2019

The students themselves also benefit from the program—receiving college credit and gaining professional skills that will help them in their future careers. For the last 10 years, Tax Help Colorado has partnered with NJC whose students take a class in the fall to become IRS-certified and then commit to volunteer at least 30 hours during tax season to operate the free tax site.

This week, NJC and Tax Help Colorado celebrated their decade long partnership by recognizing those who have helped make the program a success. Jay A. Lee, NJC President attended at the event and shared, “Northeastern is proud of its partnership with the Piton Foundation and the work Northeastern employees and students do as part of the Tax Help Colorado program. Over the past ten years, Northeastern students have provided a valuable and important service to taxpayers of our region. This work is symbolic of Northeastern’s commitment to be a servant to our community, our region and our state.”

Since its inception, 102 student volunteer tax preparers at NJC have helped families file more than 1,800 returns and claim $2.8 million in refunds. “The Northeastern Junior College tax site has continued to push new and innovative ways to better serve the volume of taxpayers in need of a free and trustworthy tax filing assistance,” said Courtney O’Reilly, Tax Help Colorado’s program manager. “We appreciate their willingness to test new pilots to better serve their community and look forward to what's in store for the site in future years.”

According to Beth Kilmer, Assistant Professor for Accounting & Business at NJC, who serves as site coordinator for the program, “The Tax Help program not only provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to apply what they’ve learned in a real-world context, it encourages them to become citizens who are more aware of and involved in the community around them.”

The tax site at NJC is open for one more day - Tuesday, March 12 from 4 - 7 pm. Taxpayers are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 970-521-6637, however walk-ins are also welcome. The tax site is located in the Phillips-Wyman Building in Room 115 on the NJC campus at 100 College Ave., Sterling, CO 80751.

NJC Tax Help Colorado site volunteers, front row left to right, Martha Saenz; Tabatha Hughes; Jessica Jones; Kate Treinen. Back row left to right, Estefanie Estupinan-Vega; Marshall Hornung; Ben Newton; Josh Carter; Beth Kilmer, NJC Site Coordinator.

About The Piton Foundation

The Piton Foundation, which is part of Gary Community Investments, is a private, operating foundation established in 1976 by Denver oilman Sam Gary. It is committed to improving the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and their families by increasing access to quality early childhood and youth development opportunities and fostering healthy family and community environments. In addition to investing in creative solutions for Colorado’s low-income children and their families, Piton operates its own programs, including the Shift Research Lab, Tax Help Colorado, and the nation’s largest and longest-running Earned Income Tax Credit public information campaign—Get Ahead Colorado

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