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CSUN students offering free tax help for people who qualify

February 19, 2020

CSUN students offering free tax help for people who qualify by Gabriela Milian, ABC 7

NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Students at Cal State Northridge are helping people with their taxes for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic (VITA) who are considered low income.

"Services are all open free of charge to all taxpayers who have a household income of under $56,000 a year," said Rafi Efrat, business professor at CSUN.

The VITA clinic is offered on the CSUN campus and 12 other areas throughout the San Fernando Valley. The program is IRS certified and all of the student volunteers from the business school had to complete certification classes in January before they could volunteer.

"You're really trying to help do everything you can to make sure the taxpayer has a great overall experience while they're at VITA," said Kevin Murray, a senior at CSUN, "Everything from right when you start having them fill out a client intake form to a client satisfaction survey."

The student-preparers can also speak other languages and some specialize in preparing taxes for veterans.

Also, having someone look over your tax information can help you catch a section that you might have missed.

"They like...go one by one like I mean every single clause and they make sure that I understand the clauses," said Layla Banu, a taxpayer who is using the service for the first time, "One of them was that if I pay interest on student loans then I should get a specific form and they actually went to check that. So that's the thing I really appreciated that."

If you or someone you know could benefit from the VITA clinic then click here to make an appointment online before your taxes are due.