I am proud of the impact the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics’ CSUN Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic has made in our community, especially during a time of extreme change and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
What a year this has been. We started the year with high hopes and great expectations of another record-breaking year to support and help low-income taxpayers fle their taxes. By mid-March, the university went virtual due to the pandemic. I commend the CSUN VITA Clinic’s volunteers and leadership for pivoting so quickly to accommodate the many low-income taxpayers that needed their assistance through an IRS-approved virtual model. This was an innovative solution to an unprecedented problem in the 50-year history of the CSUN VITA Clinic and has proven to be so successful that it will remain part of the services, even when we are able to conduct in-person appointments again, in the future.
This year, 405 students volunteered to serve over 6,000 lowincome taxpayers in Los Angeles County. More impressively, the clinic helped taxpayers claim $7.8 million in tax refunds and $3.6 million in earned income tax credits, and save taxpayers over $1.1 million in tax preparation fees.
Furthermore, with a grant from the State of California, the CSUN VITA Clinic was able to lead the CSU5 Plus VITA Collaboration for a second year. This 11-campus collaboration led to the service of over 8,700 taxpayers with the support of 944 student volunteers.
In addition to the State’s support, I am also grateful to our donors and supporters whose gifts are vital to the success of the CSUN VITA Clinic. Through contributions from our generous donors, Harvey and Harriet Bookstein, and gifts from Bank of Hope, Citi Community Development, City National Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, the CSUN VITA Clinic has been able to continue to expand and provide greater education and assistance to its volunteers and taxpaying clients.
Finally, I want to congratulate Dr. Raf 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, especially as we celebrate the clinic’s 50th anniversary.