Baruch College Students Ready to Prepare Tax Returns at Six Locations Around Town
Unlike most New Yorkers, Baruch Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers love preparing tax returns; this year, some 320 Baruch College students have been IRS-certified as tax preparers through the VITA program. They will begin doing returns for the public on Thursday, February 4 and continue right up until the April 15th tax deadline.
The VITA tax program is free and no appointments are necessary. This year, for the first time, Saturday hours have been added to the Baruch College site, conveniently located on the ground floor of the College’s library and technology building at 151 East 25th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues.) Tax preparers will be on the job Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 8 pm; Friday, noon to 7 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.
In addition to their Baruch College headquarters, volunteers are also offering weekend staffing at five other locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Because of the College’s remarkable ethnic diversity, students can often assist New Yorkers in their native language. For example, the Mott Street location will have Chinese-speaking students on hand who can communicate in both Cantonese and Mandarin. (See below for complete list of locations, hours of operation, and languages available.)
Most Baruch tax volunteers are majoring in Finance or Accountancy. They will prepare federal tax forms 1040 and 1040A and New York State tax forms IT 201 and IT 150, as well as all accompanying schedules. Baruch tax preparers can also assist international students with their special tax filing requirements. VITA coordinator, Diana Liang BBA 2010, points out that this year, a new tax credit designed to help students defray the cost of textbooks has been introduced.
The VITA tax program welcomes all comers, but is specifically aimed at immigrant and low-income New Yorkers who may not be able to afford commercial tax services and may face language barriers when trying to decipher IRS forms. Last year Baruch VITA coordinators
filed more than 6,000 returns for clients.
In addition to providing an important public service, the VITA program provides students with valuable career experience and helps build leadership skills. This is Diana Liang’s third consecutive year as a VITA volunteer, and like her, most students who work as tax preparers do so for multiple years. 2010 is the 19th consecutive year Baruch VITA has been in operation. Questions? Email VITA coordinators at: Baruchvita.firstname.lastname@example.org