CWU Department of Accounting provides free tax help to community

  • February 12, 2024
  • Rune Torgersen

Each year, the Central Washington University Department of Accounting hosts a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic, run by students and designed to help families in the community file their taxes accurately and on time.


This year’s clinic, which started January 31, will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays through March 7, and again from March 28 through April 11, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Shaw-Smyser 217. The clinic is open to anyone with less than $64,000 in household income.

Associate Professor of Accounting Fabio Ambrosio is serving as managing faculty member for the VITA clinic, and he sees the event as a win-win situation for both the community and the student volunteers.

“We talk a lot about serving our community, and this is one of the most direct ways in which our students can use their expertise to better the lives of the people around us,” he said. “In the process, students get to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to scenarios that impact real people and families. This is a partnership that works for everyone.”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced VITA in 1969 as a partnership with local charitable organizations across the U.S., training volunteers and supplying resources for them to operate clinics like this one. At CWU, the VITA clinic is staffed by 10 students majoring in accounting, who receive college credit for their service. In order to better support the large Spanish-speaking community in the area, tax preparation services are also offered in Spanish.

Community members seeking tax assistance must bring with them their photo ID, social security card, income forms (W-2, 1099, etc.), last year’s tax return, bank account and routing number, and birthdates for the taxpayer and the rest of their household. No appointment is required.

If you have questions about the VITA program, call (509)-963-3340.

 

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