Wayne State accounting students help return $1.4M to low-income Detroiters during 2019 tax season

The results are in. This tax season, 52 students and alumni from Wayne State’s Mike Ilitch School of Business collaborated with the Accounting Aid Society to put in more than 1,100 volunteer hours to help low-income Detroiters receive an estimated $1.4 million returned to the community from the IRS.

From the start, a friendly competition commenced among volunteers wherein the person who logged the most hours would receive a prize. WSU accounting major Sara Rakipi logged over 70 hours of volunteer time—almost two full weeks of work—helping Detroiters earn hundreds of thousands in refunds, earning her two tickets to the Detroit Tigers Opening Day game April 4. Rakipi also clocked over 30 hours more than the second-place volunteer.

The Tigers tickets were ponied up by Matt Roling, chair of WSU’s Department of Accounting. Roling says he only donated the tickets to add a little competitive fun to effort.

“Giving back to the community is central to the mission of Wayne State, the Mike Ilitch School of Business, and our accounting students and faculty,” Roling said. “They do these types of good deeds year round, even when there’s not a prize on the line.”

The Accounting Aid Society Collegiate Program provides collegiate volunteers with a unique opportunity to assist members of underserved communities in Detroit and southeast Michigan by helping them complete and file their tax returns and gain access to millions of dollars in refunds.

To get involved next year, fill out a Volunteer Interest Form on the Accounting Aid Society website. A member of the Accounting Aid Society team will then contact you to explore training options and volunteer opportunities. 

For more information, please visit the Accounting Aid Society website, or email volunteer@accountingaidsociety.org