In a struggling economy, many San Diego residents cannot afford to pay another person to prepare their tax returns. The Thomas Jefferson School of Law Tax Society is lending a helping hand to those individuals by offering free tax preparation services through its annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic. For 13 years, students in the program have offered assistance to low-income families, senior citizens, students and people who are unable to do their own tax return preparation.
Tyler Voss, student and President of the Tax Law Society, is proud to volunteer his time to the VITA clinic this year.
“The VITA clinic is important in the community because even the less expensive tax preparation firms can still be over $100 to file a simple return,” he said. “That sum could be a decision between filing the tax return of groceries for a week. Our clinic makes it possible to avoid that decision. We also have elderly clients who are living on social security, and that does not go that far these days. Our clinic allows them to keep a few more dollars in their pocket.”
TJSL students are encouraged to take advantage of the tax preparation services the VITA clinic provides. “Instead of spending loan money on tax preparation, save it for the Bar Exam instead,” Voss said.
The VITA clinic, which is located on the first floor, will run through April 15 and is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Student volunteers at the VITA clinic are IRS-certified. At least two CPAs also will be on site to answer questions.
Individuals who wish to take advantage of the VITA clinic must bring proof of identification, social security cards or a social security number verification issued by the Social Security Administration, wage and earning statement forms, interest and dividend statements from banks, and a copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available.
VITA operates on a walk-in basis but takes appointments as well. To make an appointment, call 619.297.9700 x4362.