Tax Prep Program Assists Local Residents

Alexis Kruzicki '24 and Timothy Hungerford

Alexis Kruzicki ’24 and VITA advisor Timothy Hungerford (SUNY Geneseo photo/Matt Burkhartt)

Thanks to SUNY Geneseo’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, tax season is a little less onerous these days. The program provides volunteer income tax assistance to eligible Livingston County residents through a partnership between the Livingston County Office for the Aging and SUNY Geneseo.

“The service is free to taxpayers with less than $60,000 of income and only a handful of unusual transactions, such as stock sales or small, simple businesses,” says Timothy Hungerford, visiting assistant professor of accounting and faculty advisor for VITA. Many clients are elderly, and the program served nearly 200 taxpayers this year alone.

“Helping taxpayers in the local community that truly benefit from our free tax service is rewarding for everyone involved,” says Alexis Kruzicki ’24, an accounting major from Buffalo, NY, who serves as the program’s site coordinator. “VITA works hard to not only help but also educate taxpayers on the ‘why’ of their tax returns.”

Kruzicki, who is also earning minors in data analytics and finance and will pursue a master’s in law and finance at Trinity College Dublin this fall, is one of 15 students participating in VITA this year. Most are accounting majors who also receive class credit for their work, but the program is open to other majors who want to see and understand the tax process. Students in the accounting master’s program often use the program as community service. 

As faculty advisor, Hungerford relies on his background in accounting—he owned his own tax and auditing business for 25+ years and has taught accounting at a number of local colleges. His experience ideally suits him for handling the program’s IRS paperwork, reviewing and submitting all the returns, and managing IRS site reviews (which VITA has passed with flying colors). He fields any issues raised during work sessions, guides the students, and sets the tone for the group—which often means that he provides the pizza.

Kruzicki has been with the program since 2022 and values both the professional experience she’s gained and the personal connections she’s made. 

“Though the work can be difficult, VITA is such a supportive environment where everyone is encouraged to learn and ask for help,” she says. “I have seen the campus through the pandemic, an election year, and various changes and challenges, and I can say that VITA is a beacon of light for many. Not only is it rewarding, it's also fun, it’s exciting, and in many ways, it’s my happy place.”

The VITA team filled all of this season’s tax appointments within the first couple of weeks, says Hungerford. “And even though we set a record for the number of returns filed this year, we still had to turn down taxpayers. If you’re interested, be sure to sign up early next year.”


Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529