Tag Archives: income tax

Meet a LUM Tax Assistance Volunteer

2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 005 (gold)

Volunteers are an integral part of the LUM Income Tax Assistance Program — and we’d like you to meet one of our superstars — Ann Pellegrino.

Originally from Easton, Pennsylvania, Ann graduated from Middlebury College (Vermont) before ending up in the mid-west. She lives in Lafayette with her husband, Lou. Ann & Lou have two grown daughters & three grandsons.

She is a retired professional from Purdue University. While at Purdue, Ann administered programs in Gifted Education and later was an administrative assistant in a research laboratory in Biological Sciences.

As a volunteer tax preparer, Ann’s expertise is in preparing taxes for what the government classifies as “non-resident aliens.” About 75% of her tax clients are international students from Purdue. Ann has been a dedicated volunteer with the LUM Tax Assistance Program for over six years and has over 15 years experience in preparing taxes.

Ann shared that “it’s just so much fun. I enjoy working with the clients and figuring it out like one big puzzle. I love volunteering because I get to meet and work with very interesting people from all over the world.”

A tremendous thank you to Ann and all of our LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers.


 

LUM Tax Assistance Program is Busy — Impressive Stats So Far

In just five weeks, the LUM Tax Assistance Program has had a tremendous positive impact on our community. Some interesting statistics so far are as follows:2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 013 (gold)

  •  Total Income Tax Returns Filed – 400
  • Total Earned Income Credit – $390,982
  • Total Education Tax Credit – $5,016
  • Total Refund Amount – $790,310

LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who
make this important LUM program such a success each year. At LUM, taxpayers get one-on
-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes at no charge. The 2015
LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Sandra Dunn-El (pictured above). Call
765.423.2691 for more information.


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LUM Tax Assistance Program is Busy — Impressive Stats So Far

2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 013 (gold)In just five weeks, the LUM Tax Assistance Program has had a tremendous positive impact on our community. Some interesting statistics so far are as follows:

  •  Total Income Tax Returns Filed – 400
  • Total Earned Income Credit – $390,982
  • Total Education Tax Credit – $5,016
  • Total Refund Amount – $790,310

LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who
make this important LUM program such a success each year. At LUM, taxpayers get one-on
-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes at no charge. The 2015
LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Sandra Dunn-El (pictured above). Call
765.423.2691 for more information.


Meet a LUM Tax Assistance Volunteer

Volunteers are an integral part of the LUM Income Tax Assistance Program — and we’d like you to meet one of our superstars — Ann Pellegrino.

2015-02-23 AnnePellegrino 005 (gold)

Originally from Easton, Pennsylvania, Ann graduated from Middlebury College (Vermont) before ending up in the mid-west. She lives in Lafayette with her husband, Lou. Ann & Lou have two grown daughters & three grandsons.

She is a retired professional from Purdue University. While at Purdue, Ann administered programs in Gifted Education and later was an administrative assistant in a research laboratory in Biological Sciences.

As a volunteer tax preparer, Ann’s expertise is in preparing taxes for what the government classifies as “non-resident aliens.” About 75% of her tax clients are international students from Purdue. Ann has been a dedicated volunteer with the LUM Tax Assistance Program for over six years and has over 15 years experience in preparing taxes.

Ann shared that “it’s just so much fun. I enjoy working with the clients and figuring it out like one big puzzle. I love volunteering because I get to meet and work with very interesting people from all over the world.”

A tremendous thank you to Ann and all of our LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers.


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Ivy Tech Professional Internships at LUM

ivytechintern Samantha Hardebeck is the new LUM After School Program Intern with responsibilities for assisting the program director with the implementation of the program.

Samantha is from Frankfort, Indiana. She is a student at Ivy Tech Community College in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Samantha is in the Human Services program focusing on child psychology.

After graduation, Samantha  plans on being pre-school teacher.

 


ivytechintern2Vivian Kuo is the new LUM Immigration Clinic Intern with additional responsibility with the Tax Assistance and Good Samaritan Programs.

She was born in Taiwan and is from Seattle, Washington. Vivian is a psychology major at Purdue University and taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College in the Human Services program.

After graduation from Purdue, Vivian plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology and a career in family and relationship therapy.

 

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Filed under After School Program, Good Samaritan Fund, Immigration Clinic, Income Tax Assistance, Interns, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM

Client Corner – LUM Good Samaritan Program – Meet Gregory Gillard


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Meet Gregory Gillard from Lafayette. He is a client of LUM Case Management, a former guest of the LUM Emergency Shelter and a recipient of the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

Gregory was unemployed and needed to find a job close to his aunt who has recently taken ill. He moved to Lafayette to look for work and needed to stay as a guest in the LUM Emergency Shelter—and he took full advantage of LUM Case Management.

Within a matter of a few weeks, he landed a job at downtown restaurant and signed a lease. During this transition into his new home and his new job, Gregory needed some emergency financial assistance from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

He simply needed “non-skid” shoes for work, some assistance with his security deposit and one or two pieces of modest furniture like a dresser.

Gregory appreciates LUM for giving him the support he needed to get a job and find a home — which gives him the stability and security to allow him to visit his family often, especially his aunt — just in time for the holidays.

If you wish to donate to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, LUM Emergency Shelter and LUM Case Management program, click HERE.



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Client Corner – LUM Tax Assistance Program – Meet Lewis Perrick


ClientMeet Lewis Perrick from Lafayette. Lewis is a client of the LUM Tax Assistance Program.

Like many, Lewis came to LUM for assistance with submitting his IRS income tax forms but soon discovered it was going to be more complicated. He worked with our trained income tax volunteers to not only submitted last year’s taxes but also previous year’s as well.

The final paperwork was submitted last week, and Lewis is thankful for the professional help he received from LUM to put this all behind him.

If you wish to volunteer with or donate to the LUM Income Tax Assistance program, click HERE.



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Volunteers Needed — LUM Income Tax Assistance Program

Choose your LUM tax volunteer role – a chance to touch many lives.

Ever thought about volunteering to help people with their tax returns? With thousands of volunteer tax preparation sites nationwide, you can touch many lives as a tax volunteer. Helping in either the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs can be rewarding while serving a vital role in your local community.

The VITA and TCE programs offer free tax help to people with low-to-moderate income, senior citizens, persons with disability, those who have limited English proficiency and others who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. In the majority of the free tax help sites, taxpayers can get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them. Other sites offer the self-prepare option for people to do their own taxes for free using web-based tax preparation software. And, some sites offer both options. Volunteers are needed in all these sites during the tax filing season.

Don’t know that much about taxes? Don’t worry — you’ll get specialized training or you can choose a volunteer role that doesn’t require tax law certification. The hours are flexible, the training is free and the time commitment is up to you.


Below are some of the volunteer roles needed by the LUM free tax assistance program:


Greeter/Screener

  • You greet everyone visiting the site to create a pleasant atmosphere. You screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need and confirm they have the necessary documents to complete their tax returns. Tax law certification is not required for this position.

Interpreter

  • You provide free language interpreter services to customers who are not fluent in English. Basic tax knowledge is helpful, but it is not required for this position.

Site Administrator/Coordinator

  • You have excellent organizational and leadership skills. You are the primary resource for sharing your knowledge of the program and are available to assist with any issues that may arise. You develop and maintain schedules for all volunteers to ensure adequate coverage, supplies and equipment at your site. Tax law certification is not always required for this position.

Tax Preparer

  • You complete and successfully certify in tax law training, including the use of electronic filing software, to provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers.

Quality Reviewer

  • You review tax returns completed by volunteer tax preparers, ensuring that every taxpayer receives top quality service and that the tax returns are error-free. You must be tax law certified at least at the Intermediate level.

Computer Specialist or troubleshooter

  • You have a working knowledge of personal computers, software and communications systems. Tax law certification is not required for this position. If working at a self-prepare site you must become familiar with the various tax software option(s) available at your site. Although you may have less taxpayer interaction than most volunteers, you must be patient with those individuals who may not be as computer literate.

Tax Coach

  • You provide tax law assistance and guide taxpayers in preparing their own tax returns. Tax law certification is required for this volunteer role and training is available on-line or through face-to-face instruction.

So, if you’re comfortable with technology, enjoy helping your community, need experience for your resume, or just like to have fun and have the time to volunteer, visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Volunteer-in-Your-Community, complete and submit Form 14310 using the submit by email button on top of the form. Someone will contact you to help you get started.


You may also email or call LUM directly {lum@lumserve.org – (765) 423-2691} to get involved in the LUM Tax Assistance Program serving Tippecanoe County residents.

More information on the LUM Tax Assistance Program may be found HERE.



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LUM Tax Assistance Program — Results So Far


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With less than two weeks left to file income tax, LUM executive director, Joe Micon has some exciting statistics to share with the community. Watch this short video blog to learn more:



LUM offers Tax Assistance until April 11, 2013. To make an appointment call 765.423.2691. For more information about the LUM Tax Assistance Program, click HERE.


Local news coverage of the LUM Tax Assistance Program:



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Meet the LUM Interns — Jashay Johnson-Martin

Meet the LUM Interns — Jashay Johnson-Martin


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Jashay Johnson-Martin is from South Bend, Indiana and is a Purdue undergraduate majoring in Human Services with a duel minor in Sociology and Organizational Leadership & Supervision.

As a LUM Intern, Jashay is working with Case Management, the Tax Assistance Program, and Achieve! Program. In addition to her studies at Purdue and internship with LUM, Jashay works as a youth program assistant at a local youth center.

After graduation in May 2013, Jashay will be attending graduate school to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW), a master’s degree in the field of social work.


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Mission Moment — The Tax Man


 Dr. Schwarz — “Hooked on LUM”


schwarz_lee_2010The LUM Tax Assistance Program’s success is due to the quality and passion of our volunteers. One such volunteer is Dr. Leroy “Lee” Schwarz, who is the Louis A. Weil, Jr., Professor of Management, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University. Three years ago, Lee was listening to a local public radio interview when the LUM coordinator for the Tax Assistance Program described the many volunteer opportunities during tax season. He decided that very day to answer the call.

“I was looking for a meaningful way to use my expertise and talents to serve the community,” Professor Schwarz said.

Once Lee met with the LUM coordinator, he realized this was “serious business”. Each volunteer tax preparer must pass one or more tests in order to become certified by the IRS. He was given a thick (2.5 inches) packet and went to work. Lee thinks the IRS certification exams are “tough and tricky” in parts; but he became certified and started working with clients exactly three years ago. He was impressed with how professional and organized the service is. “I was inspired by veteran volunteers like Ann Pelletier and Andrea Schmidt,” Professor Schwarz said.

“I went into this program thinking that I wanted to ‘give’ but wound up getting back so much more than the little bit I gave.”

There were several things Lee learned about the community, LUM, tax preparation, and himself during this process. Some of those are as follows:

  • LUM offers a unique service because of how this program complements other LUM programs like the Good Samaritan Program, Case Management, and the Emergency Shelter
  • LUM volunteers become experts in the specific IRS tax credit allowances that only apply to low income like the “Earned Income Credit”
  • LUM tax volunteers give their clients personal one-on-one counseling and spend as much time as needed to complete the tax return
  • Most individuals and families who use the LUM tax assistance program need their tax return money for necessities like rent, food, work clothes, and car payments and not luxuries
  • Lastly, he realized that the LUM tax assistance program is not providing for luxuries but rather is providing basic sustenance

Lee particularly enjoys being a LUM tax volunteer because of the joy and fulfillment it gives him.

“The LUM tax assistance team is serious about the work, but we have fun too.”

He also enjoys celebrating with his colleagues when they are able to assist a client in getting a large tax return.

Professor Schwarz stated “I love that we have so much fun and good cheer.”

He has many great stories and memories and has discovered he gets back so much satisfaction from this work and has met many good people in the past three years.

Lee has also become slightly “hooked” on LUM in general. In addition to volunteering an average of 15 hours per week during tax season, he is a trained substitute bus driver for the LUM After School Program and a Good Samaritan case advocate once a week, year round. Professor Schwarz also volunteers in the community teaching English and math and promoting literacy.

The LUM Tax Assistance Program is powered by highly skilled and expertly-trained volunteers. Lee’s story is just one of dozens (40+) volunteers who serve each year during tax season. The LUM Tax Assistance Program begins next week and continues through mid-April. We are sincerely grateful for the volunteers and coordinators of this valuable and successful program.



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Volunteer Training is Underway — LUM Tax Assistance Program



Even though tax season is still two months away, preparations are underway at LUM.  Our first tax volunteer orientation took place last night at the LUM office.  LUM will prepare tax returns for 1,700 low-income workers this year, free of charge.  It is anticipated that $2.6 million dollars will be returned to these individuals because of LUM’s efforts.


Interested in helping out?



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