College of Business {College of Business}

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VITA helps community at tax time

News + Events : VITA helps community at tax time


In a little more than two months, student volunteers from the SF
State Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program completed 1,074
e-file tax returns for free on behalf of members of the campus and San
Francisco communities. The number of filed returns was a 20 percent
increase from the previous year, and resulted in $1,089,048 in federal
tax refunds filed for taxpayers.

photo of the Business building.

The Business building.

"Every year the number of returns increases," said Professor of
Accounting Joanne Duke, who is also the faculty advisor for Beta Alpha
Psi, the accounting student organization. "It's word of mouth. People
who have come in the past, continue to come and tell their friends."

VITA is an Internal Revenue Service program that provides free
assistance to low-income, elderly, limited English-proficient and
disabled individuals who require assistance in preparing their tax
returns and cannot afford the services of a paid professional tax
preparer. SF State's VITA program is run by the students of Beta Alpha
Psi. The service was available this spring for those with an annual
household income of less than $49,000.

The program provides student volunteers with valuable experience
outside the classroom. Student volunteers receive free training from
the IRS for preparing taxes and tips for interacting with tax clients.

SF State's VITA program has received recognition in the past for
its large number of returns filed, and its community involvement. This
year, 200 volunteers helped 1,242 families and individuals in the Bay

"It's a great service that gets a lot of different individuals
coming together," Duke said. "The University contributes the space, a
CPA firm donates computers and the students do the work. It has been
successful because of this partnership. A lot of universities don't have

For more information on SF State's VITA program, visit

7, 2010
-- Michael Bruntz

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