CSULB students offer free tax-preparation help

Published January 27, 2022

Tax season is here and students from Cal State Long Beach are ready to help qualified taxpayers with their returns.

Internal Revenue Service-certified English and Spanish-speaking student volunteers from the College of Business will provide free income tax return preparation to taxpayers with an income level of $58,000 or less through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program from now until April 9. These students can help taxpayers with special tax credits for which they might qualify, such as Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Last year, student-volunteers filed state and federal tax returns, which combined, totaled more than $700,000 million in refunds.

VITA is an IRS program that provides free income tax preparation to low-income, students, seniors, non-resident, disabled and limited English proficient individuals.

Sudha Krishnan, faculty advisor for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has called VITA a "win-win for our students and community" because students get hands-on experience while giving back to the community. 

VITA will be open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday. There are no appointments Saturday or Sunday, unless indicated by a special event.

All VITA clients must complete a COVID pre-screening form before coming to campus and must receive a green checkmark. Use the COVID pre-screening form.

Before arriving, individuals should have required documentation, such as:

  • Government issued photo ID (i.e., Driver’s License)
  • Original Government Issued Social Security Card (or documents of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number – ITIN) (No Photocopies or Pictures)
  • All W-2’s and 1099’s (if any)
  • Other income and expense information
  • Total tuition fees and expenses paid (form 1098-T)
  • Total expenses paid for child/day care
  • Day care or dependent care provider’s address, phone, and identifying number (SSN or EIN)
  • Bank account and routing number (voided check) for direct deposit of refund
  • Last year’s tax return is helpful, but not required
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms