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Professor Serena Laws and Trinfo Café need support to continue the Community Learning partnership that benefits Hartford residents and Trinity students. In the Political Science course “Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford,” Trinity College students learn about the tax code and the history of tax credits in the classroom, and then are trained as IRS-certified tax preparers at the Trinfo Café VITA Tax Clinic. Students see their academic learning in practice as they provide free tax preparation service for low-income families in the Hartford area.

Visiting Lecturer in Political Science Serena Laws (center) and Alex Tomcho ’19 (right) assist a Hartford resident with his income tax return at Trinfo.Cafe. Photo by Nick Caito.

The pilot year of the Trinity VITA Tax Clinic was highly successful in 2019.

  • 8 Trinity College students were trained as tax preparers and provided services in both English and Spanish at Trinity’s community Internet cafe.
  • The clinic served 161 clients with total refunds reaching $224,217, saving $43,953 in tax preparation fees.
  • The average return for a Hartford family was $1,494 and for families with kids that number was $4,410— that’s compared to an average yearly income of $18,304 for the clients served.

With your help, we can double the impact of the clinic by enrolling twice as many student tax preparers, doubling the number of hours the clinic is open, and engaging in summer student research bout the program. To donate, please email Professor Serena Laws slaws@trincoll.edu.