Cal Poly to Provide Free Tax Preparation for Underserved Communities

3.14.15_VITA_signCal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business is again sponsoring a program to provide tax return preparation assistance at no charge for individuals and families with annual incomes less than $53,000. The program helps community members and students avoid unnecessary tax fees and tax preparation costs before the April 15 filing deadline.

Nearly 100 Cal Poly accounting students will prepare tax returns as part of the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sanctioned and coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service and California Franchise Tax Board. The IRS-certified students will prepare the returns while Orfalea College of Business faculty and volunteer CPAs will review and file them. Orfalea College of Business alumni Michelle Curry and Ashley Woodring of Radakovich, Shaw & Blythe LLP will assist the VITA clinics by reviewing and filing returns.

Cal Poly’s VITA clinic runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from Jan. 31 through March 14. Students will prepare basic forms, including 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 540, 540A, 540EZ and some supporting forms. No appointments are needed; people will be served on a first-come basis. Those participating are asked to bring their Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, 2013 tax returns and all 2014 tax-related documents, including childcare expenses and health insurance coverage information.

VITA tax preparers will be available on the third floor of the Cal Poly Business Building (No. 3). Visitors should enter Cal Poly on California Boulevard and follow the signs to the Orfalea College of Business. The clinic is wheelchair accessible, and parking is free. Community members should arrive at Cal Poly before 1 p.m. to allow sufficient time to complete returns accurately.

Cal Poly students will also staff additional VITA clinics throughout the Central Coast in partnership with the United Way of San Luis Obispo County and the United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County. They include:

·      Grover Beach: Business & Career OneStop of Five Cities
1800 East Grand Ave. (Open Saturdays from Jan. 31-April 4)

·      Santa Maria: Allan Hancock College’s Community Education Center
800 S. College Dr., Building S (Open Saturdays from Jan. 31-April 4; closed Feb. 15 and 22)

The Grover Beach and Santa Maria clinics offer appointments through local United Way chapters. Call 805-922-0329, ext. 103, to make an appointment.

The Orfalea College of Business has been hosting VITA clinics continuously since 1992. The clinics give students valuable, hands-on experience preparing returns, interacting with clients, and helping underserved communities while completing their senior projects. In the last 23 years, students have prepared more than 15,000 tax returns.

For more information about the Cal Poly program, call 805-756-2667 (English and Spanish) or visit

For media inquiries, contact Trisha Anderson at 805-756-2167 or email