California State University, Long Beach
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Need Help Doing Your Taxes?

Published: March 15, 2016

With this year’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filing deadline of Monday, April 18, slightly more than one month away, CSULB students are hard at work helping individuals prepare their tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

“The VITA program is a win-win for the university and the local community in that it provides free help with a task that everyone 18 or older has to undertake–filing tax returns,” said Sudha Krishnan, a professor of accounting at CSULB and an advisor for the campus’ VITA program. “The students benefit because they gain valuable hands-on tax experience by preparing returns as well as customer service experience through their interactions with members of the community.”

VITA is an IRS program that provides free income tax preparation to low-income, students, elderly, non-resident, disabled and limited English proficiency individuals. The service is available to qualifying taxpayers with an income level of $54,000 or less. Student volunteers are all trained and certified by the IRS and IRS-approved tax practitioners.

Last year, 1,677 returns were filed through CSULB’s VITA program resulting in refunds for individuals in the amount of $816,000. The program continues to grow and is now offered as an academic course with about 60 students enrolled.

The tax preparation service takes place in the College of Business Administration room 237 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Fridays. Appointments can be made through the CSULB VITA website and walk-ins are also welcome. Assistance with tax preparation is available through Friday, March 25.

Additionally, the university will also host a Tax Day and Family Fair from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. This event will feature representatives from the IRS, the Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization assisting CSULB students with filing returns.

For more information on the VITA program, contact VITA coordinator Kyla Tamondong.

–Michael Uhlenkamp