This tax season a number of low-income individuals and families from throughout the Inland Empire received $128,550 in federal tax refunds thanks to the work of Cal State San Bernardino student volunteers who provided free income tax service preparation.

The students were part of the CSUSB Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise tax Board (FTB).

VITA volunteers receive extensive training, and prepare and electronically file income tax returns for low-income, elderly and disabled taxpayers, free of charge, said Taewon Yang, the department chair and professor of the university’s accounting and finance department, which is housed in the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration.

The CSUSB VITA volunteers helped prepare 123 federal income tax returns, which also resulted in $22,334 in federal earned income tax credits, $9,881 in child tax credits, $75,813 in education credits, $29,071 in state refunds, and $7,872 in state earned income tax credits, said Yang.

The services were offered on campus at Jack Brown Hall on Saturdays from February 4 through April 8.

While providing quality tax information and income tax preparation service free of charge, for student volunteers, the VITA program provides a business environment where they can obtain practical experience while enhancing their communication, analytical and computer skills. The program also provides an opportunity for CSUSB students to give back to the community and helps them become independent, analytical, motivated, flexible, competent, disciplined and confident.

For more information visit the CSUSB Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) webpage.