BARUCH STUDENTS SHARPEN THEIR PENCILS: IT'S TIME TO PREPARE TAX RETURNS

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BARUCH COLLEGE, NEW YORK, NY - Baruch College students are working overtime for the next few weeks. In addition to their schoolwork, many are devoting long hours to helping their fellow New Yorkers prepare their tax returns. For Baruch accounting students, trained and certified by the IRS, tax preparation is a breeze, but it's a difficult chore for the elderly and for immigrants with limited knowledge of English.

This year, 130 Baruch students, working at six locations around town, will assist New Yorkers with federal income tax forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ, as well as with New York State and local forms IT 200 and IT 2001. The students, who work under the umbrella of the National Golden Key Honor Society, are happy to provide the service.

"I have been volunteering since my freshman year," says Rossana Romero, the Baruch junior who is one of this year's VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) coordinators. "We primarily help low-income people, families, and immigrants and the elderly." Rossana adds that in some cases, the students have even helped their clients secure Social Security numbers.

Headquartered at Baruch College's Main Building, 17 Lexington Avenue (at 23rd Street), the program has branch locations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Housed in churches and community centers, the off-campus sites function primarily on weekends. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis and no appointments are necessary. For further information call: (646) 312-4570.