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Boston Tax Help Coalition: Partner Spotlight

So far, the Boston Tax Help Coalition (BTHC) has served over 11,000 clients and completed nearly 11,500 tax returns during the 2024 tax season, a 12% increase from last year. The tireless work has put over $17 million back in the pockets of low to moderate-income Boston area families. This effort was carried out across 31 community-based tax sites with seven of our sites still preparing taxes.

Our partners are critical to making these accomplishments possible and we are grateful for their dedication. More than that, it is always great to see this sentiment reaffirmed through positive feedback from the communities they serve. For example, Joane Guzman, operations manager at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), was presented with the Supervisor of the Year Award during Northeastern University’s Heart of CommUNITY awardsDuring this event, Northeastern recognized community leaders who partner with the university to empower residents of the neighborhoods surrounding its Boston campus.

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Joane shies away from the spotlight and accolades. She was shocked by the news and had to reread the award notice several times. Joane manages a staff of nine, including five volunteers, at the ABCD Roxbury/North Dorchester Neighborhood Opportunity Center. ABCD operates 11 BTHC tax sites, including Joane's, and secured more than $7 million in state and federal tax returns this season. Reflecting on her 17 years of experience in her role, she notes that her success would not be possible without her staff and volunteers. This award signified that the Northeastern students they served had a positive experience at their site, a rare feeling when doing taxes. Joane was thrilled by this recognition from the students and grateful for the opportunity to support them. It motivates her to keep going and to keep learning. 

“We could not do the work without the volunteers. Working with the Northeastern students, and seeing how compassionate and understanding they were, it was a privilege to have them.” - Joane Guzman

Joane is a Boston native of Haitian descent. Growing up, her mother's willingness to always help anyone influenced the work she does now. Through her work, she can teach others how to advocate for themselves and let them know they have a voice. Joane knows how “daunting taxes can be and are super expensive.” She thinks of her clients who are living paycheck to paycheck noting that the money they save on tax preparation and the returns they receive go a long way in their households.

Joane's tax site goes beyond tax preparation, offering additional programs to their community including financial education and career coaching. They encourage their clients to capitalize on the returns they receive during tax time by using it as a launch pad to reach their financial goals. Joane's advice? "Speak to a coach, get career counseling. Tax time opens a lot of opportunities to find out what they are saving for, a home, an education. Getting the Earned Income Credit, and the Child Tax Credit, can really add up and help a family get out of a terrible situation.”

The BTHC is grateful to Joane for the incredible work she does for her community. Thanks to others like her and through the collaborative efforts of all our partners we positively impact the lives of our residents. The BTHC strives to create an enriching experience for partners by ensuring they feel supported and valued. Joane speaks highly of the coalition saying, “Without the coalition, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do. The coalition provides support. We can always reach out with a question, this really helps make this work.”

In addition to working in tax preparation, Joane has her own business as a travel advisor. She's also mom to her “baby” Miku the cat. 

Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Joane!

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