Students to provide free tax assistance to eligible community members

Mateo Melero

CSUN students will be offering free federal and state income tax preparation assistance to the public this season that aims to educate people on how to file their own taxes.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides people with a household income of less than $58,000 for 2013 with federal and state income tax filing assistance.

“Ideally, by the end of the day the taxpayers will have enough knowledge of how to do it on their own,” said VITA staff, Timothy Yi.

Married couples will be required to file jointly and services are provided for all U.S. citizens and resident aliens said Yi, but are not provided for nonresident international students.

Tax returns from previous years and foreign-earned income are also not prepared.

Specifics for what materials are required by VITA for tax preparation can be found on their website

Volunteer students have varying educational backgrounds and are overseen by veteran staff and volunteers, Yi said.

“There are a lot of accounting majors but there are also a lot of majors outside of accounting who volunteer for this,” Yi said.

While not necessarily accounting students, they do undergo a training course that readies them for tax preparation, prior to being sent out to the public.

Started in 1970, the VITA program initially began at CSUN and was eventually recognized and sponsored by the IRS. The VITA program has since spread to additional campuses across the nation.

In addition to low-income individuals, VITA provides tax assistance to senior citizens, non-English speakers and the disabled.

For more information call VITA at (818) 677-4519 or visit the VITA website for specific program locations, times and dates.