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Cape High students become IRS-certified tax preparers

Volunteers to prepare taxes at First State Community Action Agency
February 6, 2019

For Cape High students Nayelis Navarro, Abigal Olivas-Marin and Jackeline Olivas-Marin, acquiring a new skill could help dozens of low- to moderate-income taxpayers.

The students passed the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Preparation certification exam Jan. 28 after attending training during days off from school Jan. 21 and Jan. 25.

Suzanne McAndrews, a volunteer with community nonprofit Nehemiah Gateway, conducted the training that allows students to prepare taxes free of charge for eligible families at First State Community Action Agency in Georgetown.

Students will meet clients at least once a week during tax season to help prepare their taxes. Last year, Nehemiah Gateway prepared 12,000 returns for Delaware taxpayers at no charge.

Cape business teacher Gabriel Martinez said this was the first year Cape High students volunteered to perform the service.

“We’re hoping they’ll have a positive impact,” he said. “We’re happy to have students willing to take the time do this.”

Nayelis, a business and marketing pathway student, said she chose to volunteer so she could learn skills needed to work as a tax preparer while in college.

“It gives me a chance to learn how to prepare taxes for my own future, and to be useful and helpful to others,” she said.

Cape business, finance and marketing department Chair Sharon Elzey said becoming IRS-certified helps students learn real-world skills.

“They’re also learning customer service, doing everything from meeting with the client to printing the return,” she said.