College of the Canyons and California State University, Northridge business accounting students are participating in the federal government’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, clinic, providing free tax preparation and filing for low-to-moderate-income taxpayers.
VITA at College of the Canyons
If you made less than $65,000 in 2019, you may qualify to have your federal and state income tax returns prepared and filed for free by College of the Canyons and business accounting students who are certified with the Internal Revenue Service.
Offered through the federal government’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, clinic, this free tax preparation service will be offered at College of the Canyons every Saturday from February 8 through April 11.
“The VITA clinic provides a valuable service to local community members and gives business accounting students hands-on working experience in their chosen field,” said Ali Naddafpour, a business and accounting instructor at COC. “Our VITA students are certified to prepare and e-file federal and state income tax for qualified individuals.”
The VITA clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday through April 11 in Hasley Hall (Rooms 233 and 234) on COC’s Valencia campus.
The VITA volunteer program is sponsored by the IRS and designed to help low- to moderate-income households. Experienced tax practitioners and IRS agents will also be on-site to assist with qualification review.
Individual sessions may run one to two hours in length. While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are recommended. To make an appointment at COC, call 661-362-3330.
Parking will be free in all COC student lots during VITA’s hours of operation.
For more information, please visit the COC VITA webpage.
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VITA at California State University, Northridge
CSUN’s VITA Clinic in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics is also offering free tax preparation and filing assistance to low-income families and individuals, including non-English speakers, people with disabilities and veterans, from Jan. 25 through April 15 at CSUN and satellite locations throughout Los Angeles County.
“We are excited to build on the continued growth of providing free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers in the community, and being recognized as the largest such provider in Los Angeles County,” said Rafael Efrat, Bookstein Chair in Taxation and the director of the CSUN VITA Clinic.
“This year the CSUN VITA Clinic is spearheading once again a major initiative, as part of the CSU5 initiative to expand capacity of free tax preparation countywide by offering support, training and guidance to local community colleges and other universities to launch or expand their own VITA site,” Efrat said. “The goal of this initiative is to dramatically expand access to free tax preparation services in Los Angeles County and to build an infrastructure for a sustained offering of free tax preparation services countywide.”
The CSUN VITA Clinic is staffed by IRS-certified student volunteers and will be available to taxpayers six days a week at CSUN’s campus and 15 additional locations — including sites in Panorama City, Pacoima, Canoga Park, Van Nuys, City of San Fernando, North Hollywood, Sun Valley and Glendale.
A list of locations, dates and times can be found on the clinic’s website.
The clinic accepts walk-ins, but it is highly recommended that taxpayers schedule an appointment through the VITA website. A list of documents and forms of identification taxpayers must bring to their session can be found on the website.
The maximum gross income limit per tax return at CSUN has been set at $56,000 in 2019. However, the CSUN VITA Clinic cannot serve certain taxpayers with complex returns. A complete list of returns that cannot be completed by the clinic can also be found on VITA’s website.
More than 400 CSUN student volunteers complete intensive training on handling federal and state tax returns. In addition to providing service to the community, the CSUN VITA Clinic also gives students an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and experience in their field of study.
Launched in 1970, the CSUN VITA Clinic is housed in the Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation, located in the Nazarian College. The clinic provided assistance to more than 8,700 low-income taxpayers in 2019, generating more than $10 million in refunds to low-income taxpayers and $4.8 million in tax credits.
For more information about the CSUN VITA Clinic, call 818-677-3600 or email VITA@csun.edu.