Free on-campus tax assistance ends Thursday

Lucy Guanuna

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Volunteer tax preparer, Jessica Kim, helps accounting major, Viseh Danaei, prepare her taxes. Photo credit by Charlie Kaijo / Senior Photographer

Volunteer tax preparer, Jessica Kim, helps accounting major, Viseh Danaei, prepare her taxes. Photo credit by Charlie Kaijo / Senior Photographer

Student volunteers had the opportunity to help the campus community prepare their taxes with an income of less than $58,000 for free as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

The VITA Program on campus is a service provided by the IRS with IRS certified volunteers who offer basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing.

Students enrolled in accounting 292, a VITA service learning preparer course, and accounting 392, a VITA service learning supervisor course, and attended six four hour training workshops. They attended these workshops throughout the semester as part of a credit/no credit option.

Jessica Lopez, 24, junior accounting major volunteered for a second time in the program.

“I really like being able to help out the community. Some people volunteer for their resume or to gain credits, but I just like doing it,” Lopez said.

VITA’s office is located at Juniper Hall 4117, but they offered services at locations off-campus as well. CSUN’s VITA Program offered services from Feb. 23 through April 4.

There are about 300 student volunteers who offered services in Spanish, English, Russian, and Armenian.

CSUN’s VITA program started in 1971 and aims to help those with low incomes, disabilities and the elderly. They do not turn away undocumented workers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

The student volunteers can inform taxpayers about special tax credits including an Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

Many of the student volunteers come from different majors apart from accounting and have the opportunity to gain credits while getting hands on experience and helping the community.

“Theres a lot of low income taxpayers who don’t get their return because they are scared, or they don’t know how, or can’t pay,” said Jaewoo Chung, director of education for the VITA Program. “We’re looking forward to helping more people get the return they deserve.”

The last day to get on-campus tax preparation help is Thursday, April 4.