Accounting Students Offer Free Tax Help

Assistance is available until April 12

Student examining a tax return.

Accounting students will help Pomona Valley residents file their income tax returns beginning Friday, Feb. 7

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program enables accounting students to apply the skills they learned in the classroom while making a difference in the community. To participate, volunteers must pass the most advanced VITA tests administered by the IRS. Adjunct professor Bill Foley, who oversees the program and has been a certified public accountant for more than 30 years, also will guide students.

"In recognition of the university’s 75th anniversary, we have embraced the idea of committing 75 acts of kindness," Foley says. "VITA is in the spirit of that. Students don’t realize how much of an impact they are making until they start volunteering and the clients say how grateful they are."

Last year, volunteers filed 334 tax returns and generated a total of $368,525 in federal and state refunds. By offering this free service, Foley estimates that more than $33,000 were saved in tax preparer fees. Most tax returns are filed electronically at no cost.

Families whose household income is $51,000 or less can participate in this free service. This year, the accounting department will host three Pomona sites (see table) on most Fridays and Saturdays until April 12.

The College of Business Administration will also partner with the state Board of Equalization to offer a special on-campus tax preparation event March 1 and 22.

Several student volunteers are fluent in Spanish, Korean and Chinese.

The service is funded by CBA, the Inland Empire United Way and Cal Poly Pomona’s Center for Community Engagement.

Pomona Locations Time 

YMCA of Pomona Valley

1460 E. Holt Ave.

 Fridays 1-3 p.m.

Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

(Closed March 14-15)

Boys & Girls Club of Pomona Valley

1420 S. Garey Ave.

Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3p.m.

(Closed March 15)

Pomona Library

625 S. Garey Avenue

Feb. 8, March 8 & 29, April 5 & 12

Noon – 4 p.m.

Tax Day – Cal Poly Pomona

College of Business Administration Complex

Saturday March 1 and 22

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.