VITA Program | Spotlight

A good sign in taxing times:
Free income-tax preparation on Saturdays through April 4

IRS-trained Cal State L.A. students to help low-income community file returns

A commentary from Nataly Madrigal (CSULA graduate student and VITA site manager):

Nataly Madrigal smiles for the camera.

“It’s amazing how a program aimed at helping the community has grown throughout the years. It’s more amazing the benefits that our community and students gain from the VITA Program.

The success of VITA would not be possible without the involvement of the Accounting Department. The Department plays a key role in the success of VITA, which is to prepare students with the appropriate tools to succeed. VITA service-learning allows student to enhance what they’ve learned by allowing them to get firsthand, face-to-face client experience in one of the areas of accounting—Individual Taxation.

Personally, VITA has helped me enhance some of those skills employers look for in an individual, such as critical-thinking and interpersonal skills. Overall, VITA has been the best job I’ve ever had!”

A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – or VITA – session at Cal State L.A.

The Cal State L.A. VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program is now offering free income-tax preparation services for low- to moderate-income individuals ($42,000 or less) who cannot prepare their own tax returns.

On Saturdays through April 4, VITA services for the 2009 tax season will take place on the third floor of Salazar Hall, room 363. It will operate on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments are not necessary.

According to David Hossain, VITA site coordinator and assistant professor of accounting, “With an average refund of $1,000, VITA can be a good sign in these times of financial stress. For example, parents with two dependents may get back as much as $6,000.”

Since 1998, the Internal Revenue Service and Cal State L.A. faculty have trained Cal State L.A. students to make a difference in their communities as part of the VITA program, providing an excellent service-learning opportunity for accounting students.

For more information, call the Accounting Department at (323) 343-2830.