From Northwestern University News Center: Contract Workers Receive Free Tax Prep

Student volunteers at LIFT-Evanston find tax season to be a rewarding time of year


By Andrea Albers

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University student-volunteers will provide free tax preparation services to University contract workers through the nonprofit organization LIFT-Evanston.

The volunteers — trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service — will assist with filing taxes online and identifying eligibility for tax credits.

The service is part of the organization’s annual tax preparation aid. Last year, LIFT-Evanston filed returns for 150 clients in the community and secured over $165,000 in refunds, much of which came from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The volunteers of LIFT-Evanston are wholly comprised of Northwestern students.

Ben Reuler, regional executive director of LIFT, said people are usually shocked to hear the volunteers are excited to do taxes. “It is very rewarding to sit down with clients and help them get a refund,” he said.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to tell people they’re getting money back,” said Kristina Youmaran, student director at LIFT-Evanston and a senior in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “The contracted workers give us a great service, and this is the least we can do to show our appreciation.”

“This is a great opportunity for students to actively give back in a meaningful way to the workers they see every day on campus,” Reuler added.

LIFT is a national nonprofit organization that trains student-volunteers to aid low-income individuals and families in finding jobs, securing safe and stable housing, taking advantage of public benefits and tax credits and obtaining quality referrals for services like childcare and healthcare. Currently LIFT is located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Chicago/Evanston.

Andrea Albers is the newsroom assistant. Contact her at [email protected]