An annual on-campus event intended to provide low-income families and seniors in the Pomona Valley with free tax assistance returns to Cal Poly Pomona.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Mega Day on Saturday, March 7, will pair accounting students with community members in need of assistance preparing their returns. The third annual event will include a Family Resource Fair to provide attendees with information about low-cost and free medical services, job preparation assistance, food and nutrition service, discount telephone service, and low-cost insurance.
Organizers also will offer health screenings.
Bill Foley, an accounting lecturer who has worked to help organize VITA for several years, noted the event’s growth.
“Two years ago, students did 45 returns,” he says. “They did 75 returns last year. If we do 100 returns, it will be a win for us.”
In addition to the one-day event, accounting students volunteer to assist residents in filing returns at locations around Pomona through the state Board of Equalization’s VITA program. Under the direction of Yan-Shu Zhao, a Cal Poly Pomona adjunct and certified public accountant, students began preparing returns on Feb. 7, and will continue until the national filing deadline on April 15. According to Foley, around 100 students have volunteered for VITA and Tax Day this year.
The program can help students on campus who need to get their taxes done, as well as community members who qualify, said Foley.
Qualifying families must have a household income under $53,000.
“We’re trying to provide a very good service to the community,” he says. “It’s a good program, and it fits with Cal Poly Pomona’s mission of learn by doing.”
The Cal Poly Pomona VITA Mega Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the College of Business Administration, Building 163.
State Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome E. Horton will attend the event, as will several campus administrators.
Complimentary parking will be provided and signage along University Avenue will direct participants to the site. Tax filers are advised to schedule their appointments by calling (909) 869-2365 or register online. Participants must bring all necessary documents such as Social Security cards, photo identification and W-2 forms.
The event is made possible with the support of the California State Board of Equalization and grants from the United Way and Cal Poly Pomona’s Center for Community Engagement.