CSUSB Accounting Students Volunteer Tax Preparation In Inland Empire

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– For the 33rd year in a row, accounting majors at Cal State San Bernardino will again offer free income tax preparation for eligible taxpayers at various locations throughout the region.

CSUSB accounting students will be available to prepare tax returns at the Cal State San Bernardino campus and at five other San Bernardino County locations for low-income and elderly taxpayers who have a maximum income of $60,000. The service is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and California’s Franchise Tax Board.

“The VITA program at CSUSB started in 1982 under the direction of then-accounting professor Suzanne Cory,” said Janet Courts, full-time lecturer in the accounting department and coordinator of the VITA program.

“We have grown from offering our services one afternoon a month at the old Central City Mall in front of J.C. Penney’s. Now we have six locations throughout the Inland Empire, open three days a week,” said Courts. “This year, we have 62 students scheduled to work more than 4,200 hours preparing taxes.”

The student volunteers are certified at the advanced level in order to prepare basic tax returns, including those with itemized deductions, earned income credit, education credit, dependent care credit and child tax credit.

This year’s free tax assistance will be held at various community locations, including Cal State San Bernardino, and no appointment is necessary.

Wednesdays (February only), Feb. 5-26, from 1-6 p.m. at:

  • Cal State San Bernardino, Jack Brown Hall, fourth floor; 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino; parking $5

Fridays, Feb. 7-April 11, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Redlands, 1251 Clay St., Redlands
  • Family Resource Center, 1525 W. Highland Ave., San Bernardino

Saturdays, Feb. 8-April 12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at:

  • Fontana Boys and Girls Club, 7723 Almeria Ave., Fontana (note from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Norman F. Feldheym Central Library, 555 West 6th St., San Bernardino (closed Feb. 15 in observance of President’s Day
  • Northtown Community Center, 9997 Feron Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga

“In addition to our three certified public accountants returning this year, eight CSUSB alumni and former VITA volunteers are donating their time to supervise our sites,” Courts said.

In the 2013 tax season, about 70 CSUSB volunteers worked more than 5,800 hours preparing nearly 1,700 tax returns, which yielded combined federal and state refunds totaling more than $1.5 million.

Taxpayers who wish to participate in this program must bring valid photo identification and Social Security or ITIN cards for each taxpayer, as well as for all dependents claimed. There are no exceptions to this rule. Taxpayers must also bring W-2s, 1099s and other pertinent tax documents. Both husband and wife must be present to sign joint returns. Free electronic filing will be available. No appointment is necessary at any of the locations.

Volunteers are unable to prepare tax returns for nonresident aliens, small business owners, owners of rental properties or those who are married but filing separately.

The VITA program is made possible through the generosity of the Boys and Girls Club of Redlands, the Family Resource Center, Fontana Boys and Girls Club, Inland Empire United Way, Norman Feldheym Library, the Northtown Housing Development Corporation and the San Bernardino Unified School District.

Other partners and sponsors include the Association of Governmental Accountants, CSUSB’s College of Business and Public Administration, CSUSB’s Accounting Advisory Board, the Business Alliance, Becker CPA review course and the Norman F. Feldheym Library. Also included are the CPA firms of Eadie and Payne; Rogers, Anderson, Malody and Scott; and Soren, McAdam and Christenson.

For more information, visit the VITA website at www.cbpa.csusb.edu/vita or contact Janet Courts at (909) 537-3992, or by e-mail at vita@csusb.edu.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit http://news.csusb.edu.

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