2009
Students save low-income taxpayers more than $160,000 on 2008 returns

Students save low-income taxpayers more than $160,000 on 2008 returns
May 21, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

Christmas came early for more than 130 low- and moderate-income taxpayers who took advantage of the Tax Assistance Program sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of Greater DuPage in concert with students and faculty from Benedictine University and North Central College. Student volunteers helped 133 clients throughout DuPage County save $163,019 on their 2008 Federal Income Tax returns. Overall, students met with 196 taxpayers and helped 165 complete their returns. The average refund was $1,323, but volunteers helped one taxpayer save $5,538. “We simply could not have handled these numbers without the great support and involvement of the students and faculty of Benedictine University and North Central College,” said Mike Domagola of the Notre Dame Club of Greater DuPage. Thirty students and five faculty members from Benedictine University were involved in the program. Students must pass an Internal Revenue Service tax preparation exam before they are allowed to meet with clients. Students met with clients at the Nichols Library on four Saturdays in February and March. Although two-thirds of the clients are from the Naperville/Lisle area, the program also assisted residents from Bartlett, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Warrenville and West Chicago. Potential clients also came from as far away as North Riverside, Justice and Joliet. The Benedictine students who participated in the program were: Corinne Anderson (Bolingbrook), Hillary Bridges (Woodridge), Kristin Collero (Darien), Jillian DeGeorge (Wheaton), Jaclyn Dominguez (Woodridge), Sumaiya Fatani (Lombard), Sadaf Fatani (Villa Park), Mojisola Gafari (Calumet City) and Allison Gernaey (Bolingbrook). Also, Andreas Gloor (Sugar Grove), Joe Gonzalez (Westmont), Thomas Guzy (Downers Grove), Amina Jabbar (Glendale Heights), Indu Jayawardhan (Naperville), Nikolay Kostitchkov (Westmont), Ayesha Malik (Aurora), Dharitri Patel (Schaumburg), Raj Patel (West Chicago), Rick Randick (Downers Grove) and Mark Rieman (Downers Grove). Also, Brock Riggi (South Wilmington), Kevin Rutkowski (Wheaton), Adriana Salatova (Darien), Robert Schwalbach (New Berlin), Ryan Schwartz (Downers Grove), Nadia Sheikh (Plainfield), Nabiha Siddiqi (Glendale Heights), Amy Teague (Lisle), Dinesh Vemuri (Naperville) and Jose Villagomez (Mokena). The Benedictine faculty members who assisted in the preparation and supervision of the students were: Vicki Jobst, CPA, M.B.A., an instructor at Benedictine; Chuck Gahala, Ed.D., professor in Benedictine’s Undergraduate Business and Management department; Linda Kanter, CPA, an instructor and tax practitioner; Robert Redman, CPA, an instructor and tax practitioner; and Don Henschel, CPA, M.B.A., chair of Benedictine’s Undergraduate Business and Management department. Henschel, who has been involved with the program for several years, prepared the Benedictine students for the IRS examination, administered the testing and coordinated the effort with the Notre Dame Club. “This year we had the largest number of students we have ever had pass the IRS examination,” Henschel said. “Usually, we have around 20. This year, we had 30 students pass the qualifying exam.”

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.