Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
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Your appointment will start with a telephone consultation with one of our IRS certified VITA volunteers will conduct a phone interview to verify if you qualify for our VITA services.
Once we determine you qualify, we will explain step-by-step the virtual tax preparation procedure, which includes:
- Creating a personal password to encrypt all documents shared between you and the volunteer.
- Receiving a private, encrypted link to HIPAA Zoom.
- Discussing and preparing your income tax return over video interface.
You will have the option to also view the volunteer’s screen as they prepare your tax return. Upon the completion of your tax return, a second volunteer will be asked to join the Zoom session to review the tax return or answer any additional questions you or your preparer may have.
After the tax return is reviewed, you will be given the opportunity to review the tax return yourself and address any additional questions or concerns.
If you believe everything is accurate and correct on the tax return, you will send an email consent authorizing your preparer to electronically file your tax return.
A password-protected PDF copy of your Federal and State income tax return will be emailed or mailed to you based on your preference.
The College of Business Administration Accounting Department's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free income tax preparation/assistance to taxpayers whose gross income is $55,000 or less. We will be unable to provide you with assistance if your 2018 return involves any of the following:
- Schedule C with losses.
- Complicated and advanced Schedule D (capital gains and losses).
- Form SS-5 (request for Social Security number).
- Form SS-8 (determination of worker status for purposes of federal employment taxes and income tax withholding).
- Form 8606 (non-deductible IRA).
- Form 8615 (minor’s investment income).
- Taxpayers who will be electing “Married Filing Separate” status.
Taxpayers meeting the program eligibility requirements must bring the following items:
- Photo identification (i.e., valid driver's license).
- Social Security number(s) and dates of birth for you, your spouse and dependents. If you do not have a Social Security card, please bring your ITIN, or we can obtain one for you if you have not applied for one. It is critical that each person use the correct Social Security number.
- Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, etc.).
- Interest and dividend statements from banks, etc. (Forms 1099).
- All current tax documents and forms including items relevant for determining income and expenses.
- Date acquired, cost, date sold and selling price for stock sales; brokerage account statements may be helpful.
- For day care: Provider's name, number, address and telephone number, as well as the amount paid for day care.
- For renters: Name, address and phone number of landlord.
- A copy of last year's federal and state income tax returns, if available.
- For direct deposits: copy of a canceled check that shows bank account number and routing number.
If you plan to file a joint return electronically, both spouses must be present to sign the required IRS and FTB forms.
We do not retain copies of your tax returns or supporting documentation. It is important for you to retain copies of these items for your records. Once the VITA program ends, VITA volunteers will not be available to answer your income tax questions. We suggest that all tax return-related inquiries be directed local tax professionals (e.g., certified public accountants, enrolled agents, etc.) or the appropriate taxing authority (e.g., IRS, FTB).
If you would like to try finding other free tax preparation sites, click on the following link from the IRS: https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/
Hours of Operations: Monday through Saturday from 10AM - 6PM
Virtual tax preparation services are appointment only. Each appointment lasts approximately two hours.
At this time, we are only preparing tax returns for 2017, 2018, and 2019. A separate appointment is required for each year.
If you would like to contact us, please send us an email.
Do not send any personal or financial documents.
We strongly advise not to call our office number or leave a voicemail.
The College of Business Administration's Accounting Department has been preparing individual income tax returns through the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for several years. VITA is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the Cal Poly Pomona Accounting Department.
All returns are prepared by Cal Poly Pomona juniors and seniors and recent alumni who have gone through extensive training and have passed the IRS volunteer examinations. These volunteers are supervised by Cal Poly Pomona faculty members who are also certified public accountants.
The 2020 VITA program offers free income tax preparation help on selected Saturdays and locations starting June 1 - July 11, 2020.
You may be eligible if you, and your spouse, earned a total gross income of less than $56,000 during the tax year.
If you are an active-duty military or a veteran, the income threshold does not apply to you as well as other tax situations listed below such as rental income.
The following tax situations may disqualify you from our services:
Income from foreign sources, rental property, or Schedule K-1s
Married couples with no dependents filing separately
Registered domestic partners who want to file jointly
Specific business expenses:
- Business use of home
- Actual expenses for vehicles
- Inventory and cost of goods sold
- Businesses with a loss
- Any cancellation of debt where the taxpayer filed bankrupt or was insolvent immediately before the debt was canceled
- International students or nonresident aliens who:
- Have dual-status citizenship
- Income earned from a 1099-MISC, self-employment, gambling, or rent/royalties
While this list may not be inclusive, these are the more common scenarios that may disqualify most people from VITA services.
We are able to prepare individual income tax returns for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019, including foreign student returns. We also serve active duty military and veterans.
Due to our limited capacity and the IRS is temporarily not accepting paper returns or correspondence, we are currently not offering the following services:
Tax returns prior to 2017
ITIN applications and renewals
IRS or FTB letters
These services may be offered in the future depending on the operations of the IRS.
For a smooth and efficient virtual tax preparation process, we ask you to gather the following relevant documents prior to scheduling an appointment:
- Proof of identification for you and/or your spouse
- Both spouses must be present during the identity verification process of the tax return
- For International Students, you will also need your Visa and I-9
- Social Security cards or ITIN cards/letters for you, your spouse, and/or dependents
- You may substitute this with a 1099-SSA, IRS transcript, or your prior year tax return done by CPP VITA
- Wage and income forms such as:
- W-2 or W-2G Gambling Winnings
- 1099-MISC and a list of business expenses relevant to self-employment work
- 1099-B, DIV, or INT
- 1099-G Unemployment Compensation
- Information for other income
- Form 1098-T Tuition Statement and any other educational expenses
- Information for deductions
- IRA contributions
- 1098-E Student Loan Interest
- 1098 Mortgage Interest
- Real estate taxes
- Charitable contributions/deductions
- Amount paid to daycare provider and their tax ID number
- Forms 1095-A, B, or C for health coverage
- Copy of last year's tax return, if possible
- For returning clients, let us know what location you visited
- Bank routing and account number for direct deposit or debit.
Prior to scheduling an appointment, please confirm you have access to the following for the virtual process:
Zoom on a laptop, tablet, or mobile device
Please note if you are not comfortable with a virtual service, you may need to consider other tax filing services elsewhere.
Taxpayers have the right to privacy and confidentiality. You reserve the right to ask the VITA volunteer to stop the return.
CPP VITA volunteers also reserve the right to stop the tax preparation process and end the appointment if they believe there is a breach of security or privacy. This is to ensure the safety of the taxpayer’s private financial information. We will reschedule the session.
This includes the presence or involvement of another party that is not the taxpayer or related to their return. We ask all taxpayers to have access to a secure and private area to discuss their personal financial information.