Free Tax Prep at UB Brings $235,000 Back to WNY

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: April 22, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Over the past 10 weeks, 138 IRS-certified accounting students from the University at Buffalo School of Management brought nearly $235,000 in tax refunds back into the Buffalo community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

UB's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the national honor society for accounting and finance students, led the initiative that provided more than 1,400 hours of tax service, preparing nearly 400 individual tax returns for individuals and families with annual incomes below $40,000.

"We're especially pleased that nearly $44,000 of the total was a result of the Earned Income Credit, which targets low-income families in need of additional financial support," said Michael Steenberge, a junior in the School of Management and co-chair of the Beta Alpha Psi's VITA committee. "It means that we helped a number of families who needed it most."

Services were expanded this year to provide services on UB's South (Main Street) and North (Amherst) campuses, resulting in a 250 percent increase over last year in the number of returns prepared.

"We could not be more proud of our students and the impact they have made on the community with this initiative," said John M. Thomas, dean of the UB School of Management. "Despite their class loads and other responsibilities, these students have been working virtually every weekend since January to make this program the outstanding success that it has been."

The Wall Street Journal ranks the UB School of Management No. 9 in the nation among schools with strong regional recruiting bases. In addition, BusinessWeek ranks the school as one of the country's top 5 business schools for the fastest return on MBA investment, and Forbes cites it as one of the best business schools in the U.S. for the return on investment it provides MBA graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.