Chaos may prevail in Washington, but as Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
To help with the latter, California State University, Northridge’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic is offering free tax preparation assistance to low-income families and individuals, including non-English speakers, people with disabilities and veterans, from Jan. 28 through April 13 at CSUN and satellite locations throughout Los Angeles County.
“We are excited to launch our 48th year of providing free tax preparation and financial coaching to residents of the San Fernando Valley and beyond,” said Rafi Efrat, director of CSUN’s VITA Clinic and Bookstein Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. “Our goal is to make an impact in the community by offering low-income taxpayers access to the federal and California Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as other tax credits and deductions.”
The program is staffed by IRS-certified student volunteers and will be available to taxpayers six days a week at CSUN’s campus and 15 additional locations — including sites in Panorama City, Pacoima, Canoga Park, Van Nuys, City of San Fernando, North Hollywood, Sun Valley and Glendale. A list of locations, dates and times can be found on the CSUN VITA website.
The clinic accepts walk-ins, but it is highly recommended that taxpayers schedule an appointment through its website. A list of documents and forms of identification taxpayers must bring to their session can be found on the website.
The maximum gross income limitation per tax return has been set at $54,000. However, the CSUN VITA Clinic cannot serve certain taxpayers with complex returns. A complete list of returns that cannot be completed by the clinic can also be found on VITA’s website.
More than 400 CSUN student volunteers complete 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 firsthand knowledge and experience in their field of study.
Launched in 1970, the CSUN VITA Clinic is housed in the Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation, located in CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. The clinic provided assistance to more than 7,500 low-income taxpayers in 2018, generating more than $8.4 million in refunds to low-income taxpayers and $3.5 million 5in federal tax credits.
For more information about the CSUN VITA Clinic, call (818) 677-3600 or email VITA@csun.edu.