By Michele Cruz |Staff Writer|
Refunds of $1,179,839 dollars were returned to the Inland Empire from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program this 2010 income tax year.
The VITA program is a free tax service held on campus at Jack Brown Hall for the low income tax payers.
“Tax payers get screwed either way, and now I want to enroll in the VITA program to help low income people with their taxes,” said student Vanessa Culver.
The VITA program is sponsored by the College of Business and Public Administration. The program itself is offered as a four unit class to students; those classes being Accounting 595 and 575. The course is offered in the winter and fall semesters.
“The VITA program helps our students get hands on training in learning the tax laws. The students become voluntary income tax assistants. Students can help low income people with their taxes as long as the tax payer makes less than $60,000 a year,” said Ghulam Sarwar, department chair of accounting and finance.
According to Sarwar, all students can apply for the VITA program, but they must take an IRS tax training test and receive a passing score to qualify.
“It is our constitutional obligation to file tax returns when you are required to do so”, said Maria Rogers, the Liberty Tax Services manager.
According to Rogers, filing our taxes helps the government in many ways. A certain percent of our taxes goes to the military, health care, education and those who are unemployed.
Students can earn up to $2, 500 on the American opportunity tax credit. This student tax break can be claimed for the first four years of post-secondary education. All students must save their receipts form school expenditures to claim the credit.
For more information on VITA program log on www.cbpa.csusb.edu/vita. Or for the Liberty Tax Service call (909)206-9360.