Students Volunteer Their Services During Tax Season

Students Volunteer Their Services During Tax Season
Borgar Chung, right, an accounting senior, helps a Cal Poly Pomona student fill out his tax return last year at the Downtown Center.

Accounting students are providing some relief during these challenging economic times by offering free federal and state income tax help to Pomona Valley residents.

Free tax assistance will be offered on Saturdays, from Feb. 14 through April 11 at two locations in Pomona. Low-income families who earn approximately $40,000 or less, senior citizens and non-English speaking filers who are legal residents are eligible to receive assistance. Taxpayers also have the option to electronically file their returns for free, which is the fastest way to receive tax refunds.

The free income tax preparation program is offered as part of the Service Learning in Taxation course, taught by Accounting Professor Bill Foley, who also is a Certified Public Accountant and an attorney. The 40 participating students have all have studied Internal Revenue Service (IRS) training manuals and passed two rigorous tests. Most students speak a second language, such as Spanish, Tagalog and Chinese.

“It is vital that people receive all the credits they're eligible for, given the current state of the economy,” Foley says. “Our students are knowledgeable in dependent care, earned income and first-time homebuyer credits so we can help taxpayers get money in their pockets.”

The service is funded by Cal Poly Pomona in conjunction with the Inland Empire United Way.

There are two locations where people can receive assistance. The Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center, 300 W. Second Street in Pomona, will accept walk-ins from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will help people by appointment only from 3 to 5 p.m. The Boys and Girls Club, 1420 Garey Ave. in Pomona, will accept walk-ins from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.