Alyssa Wright is a single mom and her hands are pretty much full with her 14-month-old daughter, but when it comes to getting her taxes done, things are pretty simple. She goes to Owens community college to get them done for free.

"They're more understanding with me having a child and it's more flexible for me," Wright said. 

The program is free because the tax returns are being done by accounting and general business students. Holly Lynn oversees the program and has been watching it grow over the past few years.

"Three years ago when we started, we had three preparers and we did maybe 100 returns. Last year, we had six preparers and we did 671 returns," Lynn said.

Kelly Wegener works at Owens Community College and has used the service the past two years. She's had nothing but positive experiences.

"The last two years it was great! It was a lot quicker than me doing it myself," Wegener said.

Students who go through this program say it's incredibly helpful for them to get real world experience and realize they are on the right career path.

"It made me realize that's where I want to go and branch into so I'm going to focus more on taxes," Owens Community College Joy Eikost said.

Moderators check over the student's work to make sure what is submitted is accurate. And, if you're still nervous they might mess up, you should know the students have to take extra tests and get approved through the IRS.

"And if we're not sure if, well, maybe I didn't do this right, they're always willing to go back and look over it again," Owens student Florence Hayes said.

Sara Kanouh graduated from Owens but used to participate in the program and said it helped prepare her for her future.

"We're the future. We are going to be the next tax preparers and we need to get that learning somewhere," Kanouh said.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this program, you must make an appointment ahead of time. You can visit the school's website for more information. 

Owen's students can sign up on their school account and community members can call 567-661-7629 or dial 211 and they will refer you. 

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