For millions of low-income taxpayers, filing tax returns adds another level of anxiety on how to manage the added expense with their current cost of bills and rent.
Wells Fargo (WSF) is trying to relieve that stress from low-income taxpayers by awarding California State University, Northridge $50,000 to continue building and expanding its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic in CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
The bank has awarded the university $50,000 for the last three consecutive years to support the clinic and provide financial education and financial coaching to low-income taxpayers for free.
“Wells Fargo has been one of our strongest supporters in terms of free tax preparation, financial education and financial coaching,” said accounting professor Rafi Efrat, Bookstein Chair in Taxation and the director of CSUN’s VITA Clinic. “Wells Fargo’s involvement in our program spans beyond tax preparation, it’s also about empowering our low-income taxpayers.”
The bank’s support of the financial empowerment of low-income taxpayers began at CSUN during the 2017 tax season. In addition to the money, Wells Fargo employees are on hand to provide financial guidance and advice to taxpayers.
At CSUN the VITA Clinic traditionally begins offering its services to low-income members of the public in late. The program usually runs through mid-April at CSUN and satellite locations throughout Los Angeles County. This year, the program was suspended in mid-March as a result of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
“Wells Fargo Bank really helped us in these difficult times with developing new mechanisms to serve our low-income taxpayers virtually,” Efrat said.
VITA has been offering free assistance with state and federal tax preparation to eligible low-income individuals and families for five decades. Additionally, CSUN’s VITA clinic gives students an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in their field of study by training more than 450 CSUN student volunteers on handling federal and state tax returns.
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 news surrounding CSUN’s VITA Clinic, including locations and qualifications for its services, visit its website at vita.csun.edu.