When low-income taxpayers visit California State University, Northridge’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinics for help with their taxes, they also have a chance to learn more about how to manage their finances, through a program made possible by a gift from Wells Fargo.
The bank has awarded the university $50,000, on top of the $50,000 it gave the university last year, to support the clinic and provide financial education and financial coaching to its clients.
“The impact of the CSUN VITA Clinic is measured not only by virtue of helping low-income taxpayers obtain a cost-free tax preparation service, but perhaps more importantly, our ability to give the taxpayers we serve the opportunity to obtain vital support and resources for strengthening their financial resiliency,” said accounting professor Rafi Efrat, Bookstein Chair in Taxation and the director of CSUN’s VITA Clinic.
“The partnership we have formed with Wells Fargo, providing financial guidance and support to the taxpayers we serve, is truly unique as it empowers the taxpayers to take charge of their financial well-being by repaying old and burdensome debts, starting a savings account for retirement, putting money aside for the kids’ college education or saving enough money for a down payment for their first home,” Efrat said. “We are grateful for their investment in our community.”
Wells Fargo’s support of the financial empowerment of low-income taxpayers began during the 2017 tax season. In addition to the money, Wells Fargo team members are on hand to provide financial guidance and advice to taxpayers.
“Investing in our local communities is part of our culture at Wells Fargo,” said Robin Choi, San Fernando Valley Region Bank President. “These no-cost services assist us equipping our customers with the tools needed to succeed financially.
CSUN’s VITA Clinic began offering its services to low-income members of the public on Jan. 28. Its program will run through April 13 at CSUN and satellite locations throughout Los Angeles County.
VITA has been offering free assistance with state and federal tax preparation to eligible low-income individuals and families for more than four decades. While there is a maximum gross income limit per tax return, it’s usually set by the IRS at $54,000, about the average income of a Los Angeles resident.
More than 450 CSUN student volunteers completed intensive training on handling federal and state tax returns. In addition to providing service to the community, the CSUN VITA Clinic also gives students an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in their field of study.
Established in 1970, the CSUN VITA Clinic, located in CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, serves as a valuable community partner that is responsive to the culturally diverse San Fernando Valley.
For more information about CSUN’s VITA Clinic, including locations and qualification for its services, visit its website at vita.csun.edu.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,950 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 37 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.