First and foremost, I am proud of the impact the CSUN Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic has made in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and surrounding community. The work that is done through the CSUN VITA Clinic illustrates the mission of the Nazarian College, which is to educate and encourage students to be a force for a better future.
Sponsored by the Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation in the Nazarian College, the CSUN VITA Clinic provides students with opportunities for experiential learning in the field of taxation, service learning and to engage and support the San Fernando Valley and the greater Los Angeles area community.
This year, a record 514 students volunteered to serve low-income taxpayers in Los Angeles County. As a result, the CSUN VITA Clinic was able to serve over 8,700 taxpayers. More impressively, the clinic helped taxpayers claim over $10 million in tax refunds and $3 million in earned income tax credits, and save taxpayers over $1.8 million in tax preparation fees.
Additionally, with a grant from the state of California, the CSUN VITA Clinic led the launch of the CSU5 Plus VITA Collaboration between CSUN, four other Los Angeles County California State University campuses — known as the CSU5 — and six LA-based community colleges. This new initiative allowed the CSUN VITA Clinic to expand its reach and service areas to include Long Beach, Antelope Valley, Pomona and Santa Monica. Together, all campuses were able to serve over 14,000 taxpayers.
In addition to the state’s support, I am also grateful to our donors and supporters whose gifts have helped the CSUN VITA Clinic tremendously. Through contributions from the Internal Revenue Service, the State of California, the City and the County of Los Angeles, Citi Community Development, Wells Fargo Bank, City National Bank, Bank of Hope and the Department of Water and Power, the CSUN VITA Clinic has been able to expand and provide greater education and assistance to its volunteers and taxpaying clients.
Finally, I want to congratulate Dr. Rafi Efrat and the entire VITA team! I look forward to witnessing the growth and success of the CSUN VITA Clinic as it continues to serve our community.