For the second year in a row, CSUN’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic broke a record in its transformative growth trajectory. VITA Clinic student volunteers served a record 6,012 low-income taxpayers for the tax season that just concluded on April 18, far exceeding its goal of serving 4,000 households. This represents a 67 percent increase from the record established in 2016, when 3,606 taxpayers were served, and a 16 fold increase from 2015, when only 369 taxpayers were served. This makes the CSUN VITA Clinic the largest free tax preparation provider in the entire Southern California region, and number two in California.
CSUN Students Break a Record Once Again Number one in Southern California
CSUN VITA is Growing: Number of Volunteers
The CSUN VITA Clinic offered free assistance with state and federal tax preparation to low-income individuals and families, including non-English speakers, people with disabilities and veterans, six days a week between Jan. 28 and April 17 at the CSUN campus and 10 satellite locations throughout the San Fernando Valley, including sites in Panorama City, Sylmar, Pacoima, Sun Valley, the City of San Fernando, Van Nuys and North Hills.
“VITA aims to provide an excellent-quality, cost-free tax preparation service for the low-income community in the San Fernando Valley, as well as an excellent experiential learning opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students here at CSUN,” said Accounting Professor Rafi Efrat, Director of the CSUN VITA Clinic and the university’s Bookstein Chair in Taxation.
Federal (Blue) vs. State (Red) Tax Refunds $5.9 million
The CSUN VITA Clinic is supported by accounting leader Harvey Bookstein and his wife, Harriet; Citigroup; Wells Fargo Bank; City National Bank; the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; the Southern California Gas Company; the City of Los Angeles; the County of Los Angeles; Friends of the Family; NEW Economics for Women; HCVT, LLP; Singerlewak, LLP; CSUN Associated Students; the U.S. Department of the Treasury; state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Kelly and Peter Rivera.
According to James Alva, Southern California market manager for Citi Community Development, there are more than 100,000 households in the San Fernando Valley that are eligible to receive the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). (The EITC is a refundable credit available to low-income individuals and families worth up to $6,269.) “The need to ensure that Valley residents can access valuable tax credits through free, high-quality tax preparation services is great,” he said.through free, high-quality tax preparation services is great,” he said.
CSUN VITA is Growing: Federal Tax Returns Prepared
Federal Tax Returns Prepared by Neighborhood