When tax season arrives this year, one Oak Cliff high school has got you covered.

About 30 students at Sunset High School’s National Academy of Finance have been taking online classes provided by the Internal Revenue Service to be certified to prepare taxes under the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

After a certification exam at the end of December, they will be able to calculate and file taxes for anyone who made less than $58,000 in 2018.

The students studied for and passed several IRS exams before the final certification exam that offers real-life scenarios followed by questions. 

“You only get two chances to pass it,” says Sunset AVID coordinator Denise Tucker.

Tucker brought the tax-preparer certification program to Sunset after successfully implementing it at Woodrow Wilson High School in 2015.

“There are not that many high schools that do taxes,” says Tucker, who is pursuing the certification as well. “Even for me it’s hard. The kids do better than me.”

The plan is to provide free tax help to anyone in the community who wants it.

Students learn professionalism and problem solving while using math and accounting skills. Plus, they’re doing community service.

The students stay after school and come in on weekends to study the materials.

“It helps our school, but also we want our families and the community at large to take advantage of it,” Tucker says.

They open their doors to the public this month. If it makes you nervous to have a teenager do your taxes, rest easy. Quality reviewers from Dallas Community Tax Centers are on hand to check every return before it goes out. 

Business Buzz

Chamber awards

Nominate your favorite Oak Cliff businesses, volunteers, events and developments for the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards. Find the nomination form at oakcliffchamber.org and make your suggestions by Jan. 17. The winners will be announced at the chamber’s awards ceremony, hosted by State Rep.-elect Jessica Gonzalez at the Kessler Theater Jan. 31.

Smoke closes

The restaurant at the Belmont Hotel closed last month after nearly 10 years in business. The hotel’s new owners bought the restaurant, Smoke, and have plans to rework the space into more than one restaurant concept.

You had us at cake

Baker Heather Harbord opened a new coffee shop, Crumb & Kettle, at Tyler Station in December. The shop offers custom cakes, cake by the slice, baked goods, coffee and tea.

Clio winners

Oak Cliff-based advertising agency Kickstand won an international recognition, a Clio award, for their campaign for a video game, “We Happy Few.” Kickstand, a two-person agency, is the only Texas firm to win a Clio at the Nov. 15 awards in Los Angeles. Kickstand’s Bo Bartlett and Matt Bull live in our neighborhood and office out of Tyler Station. The game is from Frisco-based Gearbox Software. Watch the award-winning ads at advocatemag.com.