Bank of Hope has given California State University, Northridge $20,000 to help expand the university’s income tax preparation assistance program for low-income families and individuals.
The money will support the operations of CSUN’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, clinic during the 2018 tax season.
“This gift allows us to serve additional sites in the San Fernando Valley, including one in North Hollywood, where we haven’t been before,” said accounting professor Rafi Efrat, director of the CSUN VITA Clinic and Bookstein Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
“We’re also hoping to utilize some of the funding to enable us to serve a broader audience in the community. We are grateful for the generosity of the Bank of Hope,” he said.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to provide funding to assist individuals with their income tax reporting requirements, while at the same time providing students with a real-life tax compliance experience,” said Kevin Kim, president and CEO of the Bank of Hope.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Bank of Hope, and its predecessors, have been providing financial services to the largest Korean-American community in the country for more than 36 years. Today, Bank of Hope serves a multiethnic population of customers through 64 full-service branches across nine states; eight loan production Offices add a presence in two additional states.
VITA has been offering free assistance with state and federal tax preparation to eligible low-income individuals and families for more than four decades. While there is a maximum gross income limit per tax return, it’s usually set by the IRS at $54,000, about the average income of a Los Angeles resident.
The program is staffed by IRA-certified student volunteers and will be available to taxpayers six days a week at CSUN’s campus and 11 additional locations across the Valley, beginning Jan. 23 and running through April 15. During that time, ad hoc locations also will be set up to serve veterans interested in receiving free tax preparation assistance.
A list of locations, dates and times can be found on the CSUN VITA website beginning in January.