Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

February 1, 2024

When it’s tax time, the CBA Accounting Department is here to help you — for free!

Did you know that The College of Business Administration's (CBA) Accounting Department has been preparing individual income tax returns through the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for several years?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a free program sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), and the Cal Poly Pomona Accounting Department, in which Cal Poly Pomona juniors, seniors, and alumni prepare tax returns at no cost for low income and qualifying community members. “It’s actually a program that is sponsored by the IRS and the training comes directly from the Internal Revenue Service itself, so when you’re getting this training, you’re getting excellent training,” explains Professor Sharyn M. Fisk, Professor of Tax and Director of VITA program.

All returns are prepared by Cal Poly Pomona juniors, seniors, and recent alumni who have gone through extensive training and have passed the IRS volunteer examinations. Student volunteers do not have to have a graduate degree in accounting to participate, but they are supervised by Cal Poly Pomona faculty members who are also certified public accountants. CBA Adjunct Professor and VITA Coordinator Yan-Shu Zhao has been supervising the students and program for the past eight years. “It’s a great opportunity that helps our school build a strong image in the community, and at the same time, our students get the benefits,” says Zhao.

vita cal poly pomona 2024

To qualify for a free VITA-prepared tax assistance, the taxpayer’s gross income must be $60,000 or less. Eligibility is also extended if the taxpayer and spouse earned a total gross income of less than $60,000 during the tax year. For an active-duty military or a veteran taxpayer, the income threshold also does not apply. For more information and a list of all qualifying tax situations eligible for free VITA services, see the checklist here.  

The VITA program at Cal Poly Pomona continues to gain annual momentum as students and the community continue to drive interest for this amazing collaborative opportunity. To date, the CBA has been participating in the IRS VITA program since 2015, preparing 4,202 tax returns that have resulted in more than $5.3 million in tax refunds. In 2023, tax returns were prepared for over 250 taxpayers in the city and surrounding area, resulting in a total of $502,788 federal and state refunds. “I look at the VITA program as a win-win kind of situation because our students get the chance of preparing tax returns for real people, and they get the exposure and experience — and we give back to the community because [we’re] actually helping low-income families to get this kind of support,” says Magdy Farag, Professor and Chair, Accounting, College of Business Administration. The Cal Poly Pomona College of Business Administration also offers an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited graduate degree in accounting through the Singelyn Graduate School of Business (SGSB) which meets the accountancy study requirements for California CPA licensure.

Here are the locations, dates, and times for this year’s VITA program tax assistance:

Baldwin Park Library
4181 Baldwin Park BIvd.
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Time: 12pm-5pm
Dates: 2/3/24, 2/17/24, 3/9/24, 3/30/24


Duarte Library
1301 Buena Vista St.
Duarte, CA 91010
Time: 12pm-5pm
Dates: 2/10/24, 2/24/24, 3/16/24, 4/6/24


Sunkist Library
840 Puente Ave
La Puente, CA 91746
Time: 12pm-5pm
Dates: 2/17/24, 3/2/24, 3/23/24, 4/13/24


Pomona Public Library
625 S Garey Ave
Pomona, CA 91766
Time 11am-4pm
Dates: 2/3/24, 2/10/24, 2/17/24, 2/24/24, 3/2/24, 3/9/24, 3/16/24, 3/23/24, 3/30/24,
4/6/24, 4/13/24
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