As the spring semester ramps up for Calvin students, so does the often-daunting task of filing taxes. Enter Tax Knight: a one-night event free to students seeking help with their tax returns.

Hosted by Nexus, Calvin’s peer financial coaching service, Tax Knight provides a practical way for students to file their taxes. This year’s event took place at the Calvin University School of Business on March 12, where attendees enjoyed free pizza and soda; a fifteen-minute presentation on best practices by accounting professor Scott Rush; and an open forum for students to meet with peer financial coaches, ask questions, and walk through the process of completing their taxes.

Nathan Weflen, coordinator of Nexus and Tax Knight, says the “secret sauce” in Calvin’s financial literacy program, including the Tax Knight event, is that education and content are delivered peer-to-peer. “It’s relational, not transactional,” Weflen says. “Students form genuine relationships to talk about personal finance and all its associated aspects in a fluid way.”

Weflen says Nexus coaches commonly assist students with questions related to debt anxiety, stewardship, and of course, filing taxes. Weflen sees paying taxes as an element of Christian stewardship.

“We can practice our faith in a way that helps students learn and engage with what stewardship means, because stewardship is much more than giving 10 percent of our income,” he explains.

An important value communicated at Tax Knight is Nexus’ belief that Scripture doesn’t merely call Christians to pay taxes honestly and accurately. “We actually believe we’re called to pay taxes with gratitude, because taxes are a sign of God’s provision. If you’re paying taxes, you have income,” Weflen says, citing Ron Blue, author and thought leader on biblical personal finance.

Sharing this paradigm is one of the many ways Tax Knight serves the Calvin student community. Student participant Johnathon Holdridge also appreciated the sheer time-saving practicality of the event. From realizing the importance of saving tax information throughout the year, to learning how to find and fill out government paperwork, Holdridge would highly recommend the event to his peers.

“I had no clue how to do my taxes or where to begin, and Tax Knight provided a helpful platform to begin filling them out and also gave me a few people I could talk to if I had future questions about taxes,” he says.

Nexus peer advisor Lukas Lindhout organized the event’s logistics, including scheduling the date and working with Professor Rush to find tax filing software that is both accessible and free for students. “For many students, it may be their first time filing their own taxes, so being able to do so in a fun and engaging way is quite a blessing,” Lindhout says.

According to Lindhout, Tax Knight aligns with Nexus’ goal to “equip fellow students with confidence regarding their own finances,” but he emphasizes it’s a fulfilling opportunity that benefits both counselor and counselee. “What drew me to the event was being able to serve the Calvin community in an area that I am passionate about. I see it as a privilege to help students in the realm of personal finance.”

Weflen agrees with Lindhout’s perspective and says Tax Knight is all about providing the social support college students may need at a unique stage of their lives. They’ve entered adulthood, but they haven’t yet developed all the skills required to navigate their independence. In Weflen’s words, “We’re trying to bridge that gap and make the tax filing process more accessible.”

View the online photo gallery of the event here.