BARUCH COLLEGE VITA TAX PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP IMMIGRANTS AND LOW-INCOME NEW YORKERS

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              New York, NY, March 23, 2006--Every spring for the past 15 years, a team of Baruch College students has prepared tax forms for immigrant and low-income New Yorkers free of charge at locations throughout the City. The student volunteers, chiefly junior and senior accounting majors, invest their time and energy. Clients simply walk in off the street—no appointment necessary. Approximately 250 students are taking part in the Baruch Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

              This year, the program, which is run under the auspices of the College’s Golden Key Honor Society, offers several innovations:

              Electronic filing is available at the Baruch College location, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  This cuts down on the amount of time it takes to obtain refunds.

              Each location—this year there are four in addition to the College itself—is staffed by students who speak the language of the neighborhood.  Because of Baruch College’s remarkable ethnic and linguistic diversity, students can assist many New Yorkers in their native tongue.  Thus, the Mott Street location has Chinese-speaking tax preparers; at the Flushing location, Korean is spoken; the East Houston Street site caters to the Spanish-speaking community; and a YWHA in Sheepshead Bay offers help to Russian immigrants.

              At the headquarters of the Baruch VITA program, located in the College’s Library and Technology Building at 151 E. 25th Street, Room 320, students provide tax help in Chinese, Spanish and Russian in addition to English

              Volunteers are qualified to complete federal forms 1040 and 1040A as well as New York State and City form IT 200 and IT 201, with accompanying schedules.  Students can also help with such issues as earned income tax credits, child care deductions and tuition credits.  All tax returns will be quality-checked by at least two volunteers.

              Although anyone is welcome at Baruch’s VITA centers, the program is primarily aimed at immigrant and low-income New Yorkers.  Contact the Baruch VITA program at (646) 312-1647 or email: baruchvita_service@yahoo.com

 

Contact: Zane Berzins, News and Public Information Director, (646) 660-6113, zane_berzins@baruch.cuny.edu