Mount volunteers make taxes less taxing for area residents

March 21, 2017

The Mount Saint Mary College's Blake Keenan of Fishkill, N.Y works with Charles and Linda Bivona of the Town of Newburgh to complete their taxes at the Newburgh Free Library on March 21, 2017. 


With Tax Day looming, Mount Saint Mary College accounting students are providing free tax preparation for local middle- and low-income families.

The assistance program is a partnership between the AARP TaxAide Foundation, the Mid-Hudson CASH Coalition, and the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region.

Now in its sixth year of involvement, the Mount provided nearly 20 student volunteers. The students trained for at least 40 hours though classroom work with AARP certified instructors and self-study, then passed an IRS certification exam.

Mount students serve their community in donated space at the Newburgh Ministry, King of Kings Lutheran Church in New Windsor, N.Y., Mulberry Senior Center in Middletown, N.Y., Montgomery, N.Y. town hall, Newburgh Free Library, and more.

In total, taxes are prepared at 35 locations throughout Dutchess and Orange counties.

More than 7,600 returns were prepared last year thought the program, leading to nearly $6 million returned in the form of tax credits and refunds.

David Weaving, the Hudson Valley CASH Coalition coordinator, said he was pleased to see Mount Saint Mary College and other local institutions “participating in a very significant way with this program.”

As in years previous, the Mount’s Career Center was a driving force in the success of the Tax Aide program. Kathleen O’Keefe, associate director of the Center, served on the Tax Aide Planning Committee and monitored Mount volunteer success.

The Career Center prepares students for varied career opportunities in the Hudson Valley, New York City, the Capital Region, and beyond.

Mount students sharing their accounting techniques are Fernando Aguilar of Newburgh, N.Y.; Andrew Darling of Staatsburg, N.Y.; Conner Bacci of Bayside, N.Y.; Ivan Dorador of Valley Stream, N.Y.; Victoria Friszell of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.; Ryan Haff of Ferndale, N.Y.; Blake Keenan of Fishkill, N.Y.; Valen Kester of Middletown, N.Y.; Jessica Lanning of Hicksville, N.Y.; Dan Meredith of Pine Bush, N.Y.; Kevin Morales of Newburgh, N.Y.; Kyle Newman of Newburgh, N.Y.; Justin Perez of Washingtonville, N.Y.; Luis Romero of New Windsor, N.Y.; Jessica Tobar of Beacon, N.Y.; and Aleah Walsh of Rock Tavern, N.Y.