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More than 50 Cal Poly accounting students will be providing free tax return preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income TAX Assistance program, or VITA, on Saturdays from Jan. 29 to March 12.
According to a Cal Poly press release, the clinic is reopening to those in the community whose gross income is $58,000 or less. Students who have passed IRS certification tests will prepare returns, and faculty and volunteer certified public accountants will review and file those returns. VITA is sanctioned by the Internal Revenue Service and California Franchise Tax Board.
Participants must bring their ID, Social Security Card and/or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, 2020 tax returns and all 2021 tax-related documents. All participants are required to schedule an appointment at www.myfreetaxes.org.
Business administration senior Ahmed Cruz Juarez will be one of the students helping at the clinic— on top of being responsible for social media and marketing for the event.
“Normally, when it comes down to taxes, you have to go to an individual that does your taxes at a cost,” Cruz Juarez said. “When you come to Cal Poly or any of these VITA sights, you not only get this free service, but you get, you know, sort of…this weight lifted off your shoulders.”
VITA clinics will be held on the third floor of the Cal Poly Business Building (building 3). Visitors should enter via the western side of campus on California Boulevard and follow the sign to free parking in lots C4 and C7.
Clients also have the option of filling out necessary forms on vita.calpoly.edu, dropping them off at the clinic, then returning the following weekend to review and sign necessary documents.
Participants must wear a mask and bring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of visit. Only one representative per family will be allowed into the building.
In partnership with United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County, students will also host additional VITA clinics at two other Central Coast locations: Allan Hancock College Community Education Center and Oceano Elementary School. More information on these United Way clinics is available by calling 805-922-0329, ext. 103.
Orfalea College of Business has hosted on-campus VITA clinics since 1992, helping to prepare more than 7,000 tax returns for community members in the last decade alone.
Tax-related documents needed include child-care expenses, Letter 6419 for monthly advance Child Tax credit payments, and health insurance coverage information. Those who received a third round of stimulus checks in 2021 should also bring Letter 6475.
More information is available in English and Spanish at 805-756-2667, or by visiting vita.calpoly.edu.