There are only a few weeks left for members of the public to take advantage of the free tax preparation assistance being offered by California State University, Northridge business students.
CSUN’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic is offering free assistance with state and federal tax preparation to low-income families and individuals — including veterans, non-English speakers, senior citizens and persons with disabilities — through April 15 at locations throughout the San Fernando Valley.
“Many low-income households cannot afford to pay a tax professional to prepare their income-tax return,” said accounting professor Rafi Efrat, CSUN’s Bookstein Chair in Taxation and director of the university’s Institute for Higher Education in Taxation. “This often means that they will do it themselves or have a family member or friend do it, and may miss important tax deductions and credits that could put more money back into their pockets.”
For a list of CSUN VITA locations — including sites in Panorama City, Sylmar, Pacoima, Sun Valley, San Fernando, Van Nuys and Canoga Park, as well as on campus — and the dates and times students will be available to prepare tax forms, visit VITA’s website at http://www.csun.edu/bookstein-institute/csun-vita-clinic.
Due to the large volume of individuals who require assistance, the maximum gross income limitation per tax return has been set at $54,000. Those seeking assistance must bring Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification notices (ITIN) or cards for themselves, their spouse and/or dependents.
VITA does not prepare tax returns for people with complicated capital gains and losses, a minor’s investment income, a request for a Social Security number, a request to determine a worker’s status for purposes of federal employment taxes and income-tax withholding, a non-deductible IRA, small-business owners with losses, ITIN applications, active members of the military and married taxpayers filing separate returns.
Almost 300 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.
Launched in 1971, 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.
This year, the program has received grants from City National Bank and the U.S. Treasury Department and was awarded a subcontract from the City of Los Angeles through close collaboration with NEW Economics for Women to support its expanded efforts.
While the CSUN VITA Clinic welcomes walk-ins, taxpayers are strongly encouraged to make an appointment through the VITA website.
For more information about the CSUN VITA Clinic, call (818) 677-3600 or email CSUNVITAClinic@csun.edu.