Man at table going over paperwork with standing woman.
Taxpayers receive assistance at the CSUN VITA Clinic. Photo by Lee Choo.

Tax season often brings stress and anxiety, with concerns about correctly filling out forms, but did you know that CSUN’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic can help smooth out the process?

CSUN’s VITA Clinic is part of a national network that provides free tax assistance for low-income individuals and families via appointment. CSUN students are also eligible for this service! Staffed by CSUN students, the clinic serves San Fernando Valley residents, as well as other residents of Los Angeles County. The location on campus in Bookstein Hall is open year-round, but during tax-season, pop-ups open at various locations around Los Angeles County.

“The services we provide are very beneficial,” said Areli Araujo, a coordinator at CSUN’s VITA Clinic. “Tax preparation fees have skyrocketed and having to pay them can definitely be a burden. You can see the excitement and gratitude on taxpayers’ faces when we tell them at the end of the tax process that it’s one hundred percent free.”

To take advantage of VITA’s services, taxpayers, including students, must meet specific income qualifications, though there are exceptions. 

Araujo urged CSUN students to take advantage of the VITA Clinic.

“When you’re a student, you’ve already got to pay for tuition, housing and food, so why pay to get your taxes done when you could actually come to one of our locations and get them done for free? And you’d get an accurate return as well because all our student preparers are IRS-certified,” she said.

Last year, CSUN’s clinic was ranked first in the nation for the number of tax returns submitted. Nearly 300 student volunteers provided tax preparation and translation assistance for over 8,500 taxpayers.

To learn more about eligibility and other details, visit the CSUN VITA Clinic website. Translators for Spanish and ASL are available. 

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