Tax Preparation

Cal Poly presents free tax prep for low-income folks

Follow here to read this article in Spanish.

More than 50 Cal Poly accounting students are offering free tax return assistance on Saturdays January 29-March 12 as part of the Volunteer Income TAX Assistance (VITA) program.

The clinic will reopen to those in the community whose gross income is $58,000 or less, according to a Cal Poly press release. Students who pass the IRS certification tests prepare statements, and faculty and volunteer chartered accountants will review and submit those statements. VITA is sanctioned by the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board.

Participants must bring their ID card, social security card and/or individual tax identification number, tax returns for 2020 and all tax-related documents for 2021. All participants must make an appointment on

Ahmed Cruz Juarez, Senior Business Administration, will be one of the students helping out at the clinic – in addition to being responsible for social media and marketing for the event.

“Usually when it comes to taxes, you have to go to a person who pays your taxes,” Cruz Juarez said. “When you come to Cal Poly or any of these VITA attractions, not only do you get this free service, but you know, you kind of get… that weight off your shoulders.”

VITA Clinics are held on the third floor of the Cal Poly Business Building (Building 3). Visitors should enter from the west side of campus on California Boulevard and follow the signs for free parking in lots C4 and C7.

Customers also have the option to fill out the required forms at, drop them off at the clinic, and return the following weekend to review and sign the required documents.

Participants must wear a mask and bring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the visit. Only one representative per family may enter the building.

In partnership with United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County, students will also host additional VITA clinics at two other Central Coast locations: Allan Hancock College Community Education Center and Oceano Elementary School. For more information about these United Way clinics, call 805-922-0329 ext. 103

Orfalea College of Business has hosted VITA clinics on campus since 1992 and has helped prepare more than 7,000 tax returns for community members in the last decade alone.

Required tax-related documents include child care expenses, letter 6419 for monthly child tax credit prepayments, and health insurance coverage information. Those who received a third round of stimulus checks in 2021 should also bring letter 6475.

For more information in English and Spanish, call 805-756-2667 or visit

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