A record number of student volunteers are ready to prepare as many tax returns as possible at this year’s Tax Day, March 1, at Cal Poly Pomona.
In its second year, Tax Day is a special, on-campus event that allows working families in the Pomona Valley to receive free tax assistance from accounting students and learn about free or reduced-cost services. This year’s resource fair also includes health screenings, financial literacy workshops and information on job preparation assistance.
“Tax Day perfectly encapsulates what Cal Poly Pomona is all about — learn by doing and being a good neighbor,” says accounting lecturer Bill Foley who has been instrumental in organizing Tax Day. “I’m grateful that our hardworking students, the accounting department and the College of Business Administration, as well as several community partners, recognize the value of this service.”
Accounting students have already been helping local residents file returns for free at locations around Pomona through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. More than 120 students have volunteered for VITA and Tax Day this year, and they jokingly refer to themselves on social media as “Foley’s army.” Four years ago, Foley’s army totaled 40 students.
Foley attributes the popularity to students who enjoy the experience and volunteer year after year. With so many returning business majors, it’s easier to recruit and train new students, he adds.
“This is more than getting a good grade in a class,” Foley says. “This is about making a difference in the community, and students understand that.”
Tax Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Building 163 in the College of Business Administration complex. Jerome E. Horton, chairman of the state Board of Equalization, will attend, and visits are expected from state Sen. Norma Torres, Rep. Gloria Negrete-McCleod and others politicians. Complimentary parking will be available in Lots F2 and F4, and signage along University Drive will help guide participants to the event.
People can register online or walk in the day of the event. Participants are advised to bring all necessary documents such as Social Security cards and W-2 forms. The free service is available to filers whose income is $52,000 or less.
The event is made possible with support from the California State Board of Equalization and grants from the United Way and Cal Poly Pomona’s Center for Community Engagement.