Tax season brings apprehension and anxiety to many people. Filling your taxes can be a daunting and time consuming experience. For hard working lower income families, having help to file your taxes is often out of reach – tax preparation cost money, and on a tight budget it may not be a possibility.
Enter Gerard Inguagiato. A CPA by trade, Gerard volunteers for the Center for Economic Progress, an organization that offers free tax preparation for hard-working, low-income families at free tax sites in all across the state. He is known as the “Mayor of Truman,” to his fellow volunteers.
At the tax center on the campus of Truman College, where Gerard volunteers, because he is recognized as the unofficial leader of the group of volunteers there. In fact many volunteers look to him for tax law advice and instruction. His certification as a "Quality Reviewer" means he can also review tax returns before they're sent to the IRS to ensure that they have been properly completed, and done so with the maximum benefit to the client in mind.
Last year in Illinois, some 1,200 volunteers donated 37,000 hours of their time to help more than 33,000 low-income families and individuals receive $52 million in total refunds. Gerard is in his tenth year of volunteering for the program.
Besides helping the working families of Chicago, Gerard also lends his expertise to the very organization her volunteers for. In providing the Center for Economic Progress advice on financial matters, the organization can work to grow and improve their volunteer tax preparer training, and the experience for clients. Gerard is in his tenth year volunteering for the program.
His dedicated service helps ensure that the Center for Economic Progress can continue to allowing families to file their taxes in a safe and friendly environment – bringing much-needed tax refund money back to their families and their communities.