The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help to low to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) residents who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing.
Benefits for low income, elderly, limited English proficiency, and disabled families are tremendous. For example, many families eligible for Earned Income Credit do not claim it. This amount can be as high as $5,666 in 2010 for a family with three children. Recent surveys indicate that 15 to 20 percent of families that fail to claim the credit. VITA aims to maximize such benefits for those who need it the most.
Baruch VITA Mission
To our clients
- To provide low and middle-income taxpayers with free reliable tax preparation services
- To promote tax awareness and understanding in the community
- To educate the clients about all available tax credits and deductions
- To maintain quality, integrity, and professionalism of our services
To our volunteers
- To increase student practical knowledge of taxation
- To spearhead student careers with real world accounting experience
- To develop student leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills
- To create opportunities for personal growth
- To encourage student involvement in the community
To our college
- To supplement academic training with hands-on experience
- To extend college's educational goals into the community
- To improve the "Baruch experience"
- To present Baruch faculty with meaningful volunteering opportunities