Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

No Appointment Necessary!

Locations of VITA Program

Cal State Accounting students are providing FREE income tax preparation for low income taxpayers, on campus and in the community

In order to prepare your return, we must see social security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and all dependents. NO exceptions to this rule. Bring your W-2s, 1099s and other tax documents, Taxpayer and spouse must bring picture identification and be present to sign returns.

2015 locations:

WHEN: Wednesdays (TBD) 1-6 p.m.

WHEN: Fridays (TBD) 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

WHEN: Saturdays (TBD) 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

FREE electronic filing is available
FREE parking at all sites except CSUSB


Contact VITA at CSUSB

Mailing Address:
Cal State Volunteer Tax Preparation
Department of Accounting and Finance JB-459
California State University, San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway San Bernardino, CA 92407

Email: vita@csusb.edu

Phone: 909-537-3992 (This is a message only line available from February 1 through April 18 )
Fax: 909-537-7514


Student Volunteers and Tax Assistance.

Frequently asked questions and Scope of VITA

What is VITA?

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is a program sponsored by the IRS and Franchise tax Board (FTB). VITA Volunteers receive training, and prepare and electronically file income tax returns for low income, elderly, and disabled taxpayers, free of charge.

How does VITA benefit the community?

Tax benefits offer both good and bad news for many Inland Empire taxpayers. Many tax benefits favor low and middle income taxpayers. There are refundable and non-refundable tax credits for parents, incentives to save for retirement, a new IRA, a reduced tax on capital gains and dividends, education credits and deductions, and special rules governing the sale of a principal residence. The bad news is that the complexity of these provisions is overwhelming for the average taxpayer. A large pool of educated, experienced tax preparers is needed. Annual changes in the tax law further complicate the tax preparation needs of all taxpayers, especially the low income. CSUSB can fill this need. The VITA Program offers students the opportunity to learn the tax law and fill a gap in the community.

What is the purpose of VITA?

  • Provide quality tax information and income tax preparation service at no charge
  • Link CSUSB to the Inland Empire
  • Provide a business environment where students can obtain practical experience while enhancing their communication, analytical, and computer skills.
  • Provide an opportunity for University students to 'give back' to the community
  • Help students become independent, reflective, motivated, flexible, competent, disciplined, and confident.

Who qualifies for the VITA program?

The Scope of the VITA program for 2013 is to provides free income tax preparation to low-income individuals and families throughout the Inland Empire. In addition, services for low income senior citizens, non-English speakers, and the disabled are provided.

Due to the high demand for this valuable service, a $60,000 maximum gross income per return has been implemented for taxpayers seeking assistance. In addition, Social Security Cards or ITIN cards are required for taxpayer, spouse, and all dependents. Picture identification is necessary for taxpayer and spouse.

All taxpayers, including both spouses if filing joint returns, must be present when tax returns are being prepared.

The scope of the program includes the following:

  • 2012 Federal and California individual tax returns
  • Taxpayers and dependents with SSN or ITIN card with picture identification
  • Preparation of Form 1040EZ
  • Preparation of Federal forms 1040A (including Schedules)
  • Form 1040 (includes Schedules A, B, C-EZ, C, SE, D)
  • EIC (Earned Income Credit)
  • Schedule R (Credit for Elderly)
  • Form 2441 (Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Form 8812 (Additional Child Tax Credit)
  • Education Expenses
  • Itemized deductions (medical expenses, interest, taxes, check, cash, and non-cash (not subject to appraisal) charitable contributions, and most miscellaneous deductions.)
  • Pension distributions
  • Social Security income
  • Railroad Retirement benefits
  • State of California Forms 540A, 540 and California Renters Credit.
  • Form 1099-DIV, dividend income
  • Taxpayers and dependents with an ITIN with proof of identity
  • Miscellaneous Income (1099 MISC box 7 income only)
  • Business income when the expenses are less than $5000 (Sole-Proprietorships only)
  • Self Employment tax
  • Gain/Loss from sale of stock if basis is documented
  • California Lottery Winnings , jury duty pay, gambling winnings, hobby income, etc.
  • Income tax returns for prior years ( 2009, 2010, and 2011 only)

Assistance is also available for those who are eligible for Earned Income Credit, Education Credits, Dependent Care Credit, and Child Tax Credit.

What is not covered by VITA?

We DO NOT prepare:

  • Casualty losses
  • Depreciation
  • Married filing separate returns
  • IRA deductions if part is taxable and part tax-free
  • Schedules E or F
  • Inventory
  • Non-Resident returns (residents of a foreign country)

NOTE: The site supervisor may judge an item out of the scope of VITA. Please respect the decision.


Student Volunteers

Students are trained to prepare Federal and California resident tax returns for the low income (less than $60,000 gross income per return).


Student Info

Student Volunteers (Check back frequently for updates)
Janet's office hours Winter Quarter 2015:

Tentative: by appt
Additional hours will be posted in blackboard.

Other office hours Winter Quarter 2015:
Hours will be posted in blackboard after January 15, 2015

2015 Syllabus Available!

Powerpoint: Available late Dec/early Jan

Link and Learn is expected to be active in mid November.

NOTE: Returning VITA students may complete the Returning Volunteers module on Link-n-Learn only with permission from Janet, everyone else must complete the Basic and Advanced levels. Returning preparers, supervisors and anyone interested will complete the HSA and COD certifications. See the syllabus for details. Blackboard should be available by 1-2-2015.

Taxwise Practice Lab updates: See blackboard after 1-4-2015


Hour requirement for each type of enrollment
Hours requirement 2015

Accounting Internship (VITA): If you would like to become a VITA intern, please email Janet Courts at vita@csusb.edu No need to fill out any forms until the end of the course when you will answer a series of short questions about your experience.

Interested in participating in the VITA program?

email Janet Courts: vita@csusb.edu Make sure you type: I want to join VITA in the subject line. In the body of your message type your name, email address, and phone # and type of enrollment you want. Include your student ID # in the body of the message or call your ID# into the department office at 909-537-5704. Please send the message from the email account you want to use for VITA correspondence. You will need to check messages at least daily.

After you send the email asking to join VITA, sign up (list will be on the door of JB-436) for an interview time. Interviews are conducted to test your communication skills. You will be asked a general question or two. No need to prepare in advance.Your enrollment request will be processed after you successfully complete the interview. Returning CSUSB VITA students do not need to interview.

NOTE: Janet will enroll you, you cannot enroll yourself. If VITA will create an overload for you, include that in your email. Enrollments are processed once a week beginning early November through early January.