Cost-Free Tax Assistance Clinics Get Boost Courtesy of CSU5 Grant

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More workshop locations and longer hours of free help with filing income tax returns represent some of the immediate effects of a substantial grant issued to its organizers.

The IRS-backed Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program pairs community members with incomes less than $54,000 requiring aid in form preparation with trained accounting students from Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration. It represents one branch of a California State University conglomerate labeled the CSU5 and all are benefiting from $344,250 of funding issued by the California Department of Community Services and Development.

Cal Poly Pomona joined California State University, Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles, California State University, Dominguez Hills and California State University, Long Beach in submitting grant proposals with projections for 2019 program costs. CPP’s $41,965 share of the award has been allocated to promoting nine locations and a Feb. 9 MEGA Tax Day at the CPP campus along with a portion allocated to long-term program sustainability.

“VITA is a major part of the CBA’s polytechnic experience for accounting students,” CBA Dean Erik Rolland said. “The program is a service to our community where students learn to service customers by helping with their taxes.”

Before working with the public, students undergo training via upper-division accounting courses. Upon successful completion of a competency exam and under the eye of tax professionals, students spend Saturdays staffing locations for the three months leading up to April’s deadline.

Following the Feb. 9 MEGA Tax Day kickoff, all CSU5 VITA clinics will be open to the public. Visit the hours website for a complete venue list. More information is also available through emailing vita@cpp.edu or by calling (909) 869-2365.