Tax Preparation

Cal Poly affords free tax preparation for underserved communities

Accounting students have been preparing basic forms for on-campus parishioners annually since 1992

– Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business is again offering free tax return assistance through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The VITA Clinics on the Cal Poly campus will be held January 29 through March 12 on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year, all community members must make an appointment at

More than 50 Cal Poly accounting students prepare tax returns under the VITA program, which is approved and coordinated with the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board. These IRS-certified students prepare tax returns while Orfalea College of Business faculty and volunteer certified public accountants review and file tax returns. Students prepare basic forms for local individuals and families earning less than $58,000. These include 1040, 1040A, 10 40EZ, 540, 540A, 540EZ and some supporting forms.

The Cal Poly Clinic will be held on the third floor of the commercial building (#3). The clinic is barrier-free. Visitors should enter the west edge of campus on California Boulevard and follow the signs. Parking is free and possible in car parks C4 and C7 near the office building. See for parking lot locations.

Participants must bring their ID card, social security card and/or individual tax identification number; tax returns 2020; and all tax-related documents for 2021, including: childcare expenses, letter 6419 for monthly child tax credit advances, letter 6475 (if you received a third round of stimulus checks in 2021), and health insurance coverage information.

Due to new COVID protocols, attendees must wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the visit. In addition, only one representative of each family may enter the building.

Clients have the option to fill out the required forms, which are available on the VITA program website (, drop them off at the clinic, and return the following weekend to review the tax return and sign the required documents .

The students will also host additional VITA clinics at two other Central Coast locations in partnership with the United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County:

Allan Hancock College Community Education Center (Building S-103)
800 S. College Drive, Santa Maria
Seven Saturday sessions, 9am to 3pm, February 12 to April 9 (closed on February 19, March 26 and April 2)

Oceano Elementary School
1551 17th St., Oceano
Five Saturday sessions, 10am to 3pm, February 12 to March 12

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has hosted VITA clinics on campus since 1992. Over the past decade, students have helped prepare more than 7,000 tax returns for parishioners. The clinics serve as a valuable, hands-on senior project that allows students to prepare returns, interact with clients, and help underserved communities.

Students also have the opportunity to work with faculty members and tax professionals. This year’s VITA program will be led by Cal Poly faculty members Trisha Daughtrey and Christine Lebar of San Luis Obispo.

For more information, call (805) 756-2667 (English and Spanish) or visit For more information about United Way clinics, call (805) 922-0329 ext. 103

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The Paso Robles Daily News news team wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The newsroom can be reached at

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