Tax Day Kicks Off Cost-Free Filing Clinics

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance logo with student helping prepare taxes in the back

Three months of cost-free tax assistance clinics for members of the Pomona community officially launches at Cal Poly Pomona during Tax Day on Feb. 9.

The CSU5’s Mega VITA Day inaugurates the start of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), an IRS-backed program for most individuals or households making less than $54,000.  Upper-division accounting students from the College of Business Administration prepare returns under the supervision of industry professionals.

“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.”

This year’s aspiring accountants completed a series of IRS courses and training on the latest tax laws under the watchful eye of Accounting faculty. The program offers free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

“This will be a tough year for tax return preparation,” warned CBA Director of VITA, Professor Sharyn Fisk. “There were a lot of changes to the Internal Revenue Code last year and the IRS has issued new tax return forms. However, our student volunteers are ready for these changes.”

The VITA program is supported in part by the California Department of Community Services and Development, which provided $344,250 to the CSU5, a conglomerate of the five CSU campuses in Los Angeles County. Cal Poly Pomona’s $41,965 share of the award will support the clinics on campus and in the community, as well as VITA’s long-term program sustainability.

“Our faculty and experienced student site-leaders review all the returns prepared at our VITA sites for accuracy,” Fisk said. “We also confirm the returns we electronically file are accepted by the IRS.”   

No appointment is necessary for Tax Day - 2019. Doors open to the public at 10 a.m. and walk-ins will be accommodated until 4 p.m. Three other Pomona locations are open select Saturdays from February until April.