Category Archives: Income Tax Assistance

Be a Volunteer Income Tax Preparer at LUM


Every year, hundreds of low income families come to LUM to get their taxes done. We all know how scary tax time can be, but here at LUM it’s often a time of joy. Families who struggle every day just to get by, come here to learn they’re going to get a refund that will place badly needed money back in their pockets. And you can be a part of making that happen!

The average family that uses the LUM Tax Assistance Program earns a little more than $20,000 a year. They cannot afford to pay a professional to do their taxes, and many lack the confidence, experience, or ability to complete the returns on their own.  

Being a volunteer tax preparer at LUM can be an incredibly rewarding experience.Since, it is a small program, our volunteers have the chance to get to know their clients, and to feel the very personal and immediate reward that comes with realizing they have truly helped someone. At the same time, our volunteers have a lot of fun. Volunteers and staff get to know each other, socialize together between client visits, and help each other solve problems as they arise.

While a few of our volunteers are tax professionals, looking for a way to use their skills to help those in need, others just love the mental challenge of completing a tax return, and still others come to us with no background in math or taxes whatsoever. There have even been volunteers who started off terrified of numbers, only to discover that taxes weren’t that scary after all.

Tax tax clinics are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., beginning in February and going through early April. You can sign up for as many or as few clinics as you’d like.

All volunteers need to complete an IRS tax certification. This can seem intimidating at first glance, but don’t worry! There will be Saturday prep classes in December and January to help you get ready. And once you’re certified you can spend a clinic or two shadowing a more experienced volunteer before taking your first client. And if you run into problems you don’t understand, there’s always someone there to help!

Anyone can learn to do this, regardless of background or experience. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a volunteer tax preparer, please email program director, Josh Prokopy at jprokopy@lumserve.org.

 

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Spotlight on Tax Assistance Volunteers



The LUM Tax Assistance Program started this month and is in full swing! Volunteers are an integral part of this vital program, and today we put a spotlight on these superstars. Pictured L to R are Karen Marty, Andrea Schmidt, Ann Pellegrino, Josh Prokopy (director), Connie Decker and Marilyn Zerbes. Volunteers not pictured are Evie Griffin (intern), Patti O’Callaghan, Ron Smith, Rob Patrick, Tricia Sembroski, Ai Ai Lau, Carol Reisert, Tim Delworth and Bill Meinweiser. LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who make it a success each year. Special thanks to ALL of the LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers this year.


Did you know?

  • At LUM, taxpayers get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them at no charge
  • You may also file your taxes online for FREE

For more information on the Tax Assistance Program or how YOU can volunteer, click HERE or call 765.423.2691.


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Tax Assistance Program

LUM Tax Assistance Program Starts Soon


Volunteers Are A Vital Part of LUM Tax Program

The LUM Tax Assistance Program will start on Saturday, February 2. Volunteers are an integral part of the LUM Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program also known as VITA. LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who make this vital LUM program such a success each year. Special thanks to ALL of the volunteers assisting with the LUM Tax Assistance Program this year.

Did you know?

  • At LUM, taxpayers get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them at no charge
  • If your household earned less than $66,000 in 2018, you may file your taxes online for FREE

For more information on the LUM Tax Assistance Program or how YOU can volunteer, click HERE or call 765.423.2691.

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Volunteers Needed – Income Tax Assistance


Volunteers Needed – LUM Income Tax Assistance Program

Make a difference in your community by becoming a LUM tax volunteer. Volunteers are needed from Saturday, February 2 through Thursday, April 4 for the LUM Tax Assistance Program.

No experience is necessary — and training is provided. You may even qualify for continuing education credits. There are a number of volunteer roles available — click HERE to see descriptions. For tax preparers, some accounting experience is desired. In all tax volunteer roles, individuals who are bilingual, multi-lingual, and have international experience are helpful. As a LUM tax assistance volunteer, you’ll join a program that’s helped millions of people file tax returns at no charge for more than 40 years.

LUM strengthens our community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA, a nationwide IRS program, secures greater financial stability and economic opportunity for working families — and directly impacts OUR community. Your help will make a difference — and have a significant positive impact. If you are interested or need more information please click HERE or call or email Josh Prokopy (765-423-2691 | taxes@lumserve.org).

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Income Tax Preparation Season is HERE


Josh Prokopy – LUM Tax Assistance Director

Josh J. Prokopy is the new program director for the LUM VITA tax assistance program. With LUM, Josh has served the past two years as the Turkey Trot 5K Run director.

Josh grew up in Conway, Massachusetts and now lives in West Lafayette with his wife, Linda, and their three children, Annabel, Margaret & David. Annabel & Margaret are both 14 years old and in 9th grade at West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School, and David (11) is in 6th grade at West Lafayette Intermediate School. They are members of Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County. Josh earned a bachelor’s in independent concentration from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Master’s in Sociology and Master’s in Social Work both from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Josh is active in his church.

Josh shares,“My priorities are to raise my family as best I can, to let loose children who care about the world and our future, to better understand the world around me, and to try and make a difference, at least in a small way, within my community.” He finds inspiration in his father, “who was extremely independent minded and hard working, and never cared a hoot for what anyone else thought of him. He lived his own life in his own way, but did so much to enrich the world around him.” Josh is excited about his role with LUM, and stated, “If we can do anything at all to give people a renewed sense of hope, than we’ve made a huge impact in their lives.”

Josh is an avid home-brewer of beer and has a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo. He enjoys being out in nature, and spending time with friends and family engaged in meaningful conversation, “preferably over a glass of excellent home-brewed beer.”

LUM is fortunate to have Josh Prokopy rejoin the LUM staff in this new role.

LUM Tax Assistance – Tremendous Positive Impact


LUM Tax Assistance Volunteers Reflect & Celebrate


Each year, LUM offers FREE Income Tax Preparation Assistance for eligible, low-income households and individuals who reside in Tippecanoe County. The volunteers and staff who have been working with this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program met for lunch at Walt’s Pub & Grill to reflect & celebrate another successful year. Some interesting statistics about this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program are as follows:

  • $906,444 – Total Refunds
  • $811,362 – Total Federal Refunds; $95,082 – Total State Refunds
  • 522 – Income Tax Returns filed
  • $253,200 – Total in Earned Income Credit
  • $20,502 – Average Adjusted Gross Income

Attending the celebratory lunch (pictured L to R) were Joe Micon, LUM executive director; Patti O’Callaghan; Andrea Schmidt; Rob Patrick; Ben Murphy, Tax Assistant Program director; and Ron Smith.


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Tax Assistance Program


LUM Income Tax Assistance in Full Swing


Impressive Stats So Far

In just six 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 – 328
  • Total Earned Income Credit – $215,332
  • Average Adjusted Gross Income – $21,394
  • Total Refund Amount – $616,838

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 2018 LUM Tax Assistance Program is led by Ben Murphy.

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


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Tax Assistance Program


Spotlight on Tax Assistance Volunteers



The LUM Tax Assistance Program started this week and is in full swing! Volunteers are an integral part of the LUM Income Tax Assistance Program — and today we put a spotlight on our 2018 superstars — Front Row: Patti O’Callaghan, Ann Pellegrino, Connie Decker and Andrea Schmidt; Back: Rob and Ben Murphy, director.

LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who make this vital LUM program such a success each year. Special thanks to ALL of the volunteers assisting with the LUM Tax Assistance Program this year.


Did you know?

  • At LUM, taxpayers get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them at no charge
  • You may also file your taxes online for FREE

For more information on the Tax Assistance Program or how YOU can volunteer, click HERE or call 765.423.2691.


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Tax Assistance Program

LUM Needs Tax Volunteers


CALL to ACTION – New Year, Renewed Commitment

Tax Assistance Program

Ever thought about volunteering to help people with their tax returns? 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 LUM Tax Assistance Programoffers flexible hours, the training is free and the time commitment is up to you. Choose your role – and get a chance to touch many lives.

 

If you’re interested or need more information, click HERE. If you need further information, please call or email Ben Murphy (765.423.2691 | bmurphy@lumserve.org).

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volunteer opportunities

LUM Needs You! Here are the CURRENT LUM Volunteer Needs:

There are many different opportunities for volunteering, from working one-on-one with a child to helping run the homeless shelter. Also, there are opportunities to fit every schedule, from regular long-term commitments to one time work with an event. Some volunteer positions require training while others require only a willing heart and a helping hand. READ BELOW for more detailed information on current volunteer opportunities. To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.


LUM Events

Sign up online to volunteer at LUM Events like LUM Follies, Hunger Hike, Port of Hope, Thanksgiving Celebration, Turkey Trot 5K & Jubilee Christmas. Online Volunteer Sign Up Sheets, click HERE.


Group Opportunities

If your group would like to volunteer with LUM, sign up for a LUM Event online — or please email or call for more information (lum@lumserve.org | 765.423.2691).


Volunteer Opportunities

  • To view all LUM Volunteer Opportunities, click HERE.
  • SIGN UP ONLINE — Sign up to volunteer with LUM online. It’s quick & easy and you’ll get email reminders.

Many more Volunteer Opportunities may be found HERE.


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Merry Christmas From Lafayette Urban Ministry


On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept our heartfelt thanks and our wish for a joyous Christmas season.


Consider a Gift to LUM This Christmas Season

Little Mandy and her Ma, ‘S porest folks you ever saw! —
Lived in porest house in town, Where the fence ‘uz all tore down.

December 2017

Dear Friend,

The 1899 Christmas classic Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree, by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, is as much a social commentary as a holiday poem.

Written from the perspective of a child who accompanies her mother on a charity visit to a family in need, Riley, in his typical Midwestern cadence, shares the story of little Mandy, the terminally ill child who resides in the house.

Each stanza is filled with startling and vivid imagery about the family’s predicament and the community’s response. The images speak to Riley’s vision of how church and community members ought to relate to and be respectful toward the least among us.

It is a vision we work hard to make real each and every day at the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families in our community who are experiencing difficult times.

During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 5,200 families through one or another of our 20 programs.

  • Two-hundred and fifteen at-risk youth learned and grew because of LUM’s 5th Quarter, LUM Camp and Enhanced Afterschool Programs.
  • LUM’s Overnight Shelter continues to compassionately serve the chronically homeless in our community.  LUM’s shelter and overnight winter warming station will serve more than 800 homeless individuals during 2017.
  • LUM’s Tax Preparation Program served 929 low-income workers, returning to them more than $1.4 million in tax credits and refunds.
  • LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves up to twelve families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies.  LUM has aided more than 2,200 such families so far this year.
  • More than, 2,900 individuals received emergency food from our  St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry.
  • The Community Thanksgiving Meal served 900 individuals, LUM’s ID Clinic served more than 200 clients, our Legal Immigration Program served 39 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas –  1,909 children!

Perhaps Riley’s most powerful stanza in Little Mandy depicts the sharing of cash:

Nen my Ma she gived her Ma
Somepin’ ‘at I never saw,
And say ‘at she must take it, and,
She ist maked her keep it in her hand.


In the spirit of this Christmas season I hope that you will share a gift of cash with the children and families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry.  Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used right here in our community to support LUM’s important work.

Place a copy of James Whitcomb Riley’s poem Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree on your own Christmas tree as a reminder of the kindness and generosity you’ve shown toward those in our community who are suffering through a difficult time.

On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas season.

Merry Christmas,

Joe Micon
Executive Director


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