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Free Tax Preparation Offered for Most Students

Maximize your refund by having your taxes professionally prepared for free

January 27, 2020 - 12:58 AM

Doing your own taxes can be stressfulStudents of Mt. SAC who earned less than $54k this year can get free tax preparation each Saturday from February 29 – April 11.

“A lot of students don’t know they can Steven Valdesget free tax preparation here at Mt. SAC, or that they are entitled to an educational credit,” said Accounting Professor Steven Valdes, who runs the VITA program.

The tax preparation will be done by volunteer students, thanks to the program known as VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm in building 79, room 3270. The program was started four years ago by an accounting student who contacted the IRS to find out how they could provide a free tax prep service to their fellow students.  

Preparing taxes is complex and stressful“We have accounting degrees and certificate programs where students learn how to professionally prepare individuals’ tax returns,” explained Valdes. “We will have about 50 students from these programs volunteering their time to do this. The students get much-needed experience in professional tax preparation and can go work for H&R Block or any number of companies that perform tax services.”

The requirements to be eligible for free tax preparation are:
  • An income of $54,000 or below
  • Must bring a Photo ID and Social Security Card for yourself and Social Security Cards for any dependents you wish to claim
  • No prior year returns (only 2019 tax returns) or amended returns (1040X).
  • No descendants' income tax returns will be prepared
  • Only Schedule C-EZ will be prepared (not Schedule C). This includes a limit for expenses of $5,000. (1099-MISC)
The following are not prepared at VITA:
  • Form 1040 NR
  • Married Filing Separately
  • Multi-State Returns
  • Renew ITINs (Individual Tax-Payer Identification Number)
  • Schedule D (Capital Gain Transactions) Any Form with 1099-B Proceeds & K-1 Forms
  • Schedule E (Rental Real Estate)
  • Schedule F (Farm Income)
Taxes are due by April 15What to bring:
  • Social Security card.
  • California DMV Driver's License or CA Identification Card.
  • Prior year tax return.
  • Health insurance cards, or proof of health insurance (if applicable)
  • All income documents (All income documents should be collected prior to making an appointment. If missing any documents, VITA will not be able to prepare your return).
  • Proof of expenses (if applicable).
  • Any other documents required to prepare an accurate return.
  • Bank Account Routing Number and Account Number for either Direct Deposit of your refund or Direct Withdraw for any balance due. You may also use a voided check for this information.