VITA is administered by IRS but relies on volunteers and community service agencies to reach people who need assistance in filing Federal tax returns and claiming refunds due them. The existing VITA program administered by the IRS originated with the Tax Reform Act of 1969 as part of the increased emphasis on Taxpayer Education Programs. Because of the success in the initial years, emphasis was placed on expanding the VITA program through:
The tremendous growth and success of the VITA program can be attributed to a business model that leverages the resources of partners who are established in the community. The leveraging of partner resources began in 2000 with the reorganization of IRS and the creation of the Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) organization.
SPEC is trying to reach out to key customers who are eligible for a number of tax credits and deductions. These customers include families with low to moderate income (under $40,000 a year), people aged over 60, people with limited English speaking skills, and people with disabilities. Over 1.5 million people with disabilities do not file their tax return. Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is the largest federal aid program benefiting working individuals and families. It is a refundable credit, which means that even if someone owes any taxes, he or she may receive cash back from their refund. EITC is an effective anti-poverty tool. In 2006, $42 billion was paid out to over 22 million individuals and families, and helped 5 million people out of poverty. Nearly 25% of people and families are eligible for EITC, but do not claim it. VITA attempts to combat this trend by focusing its attention to these people.
Baruch College is part of a tradition that dates 160 years to the founding, in 1847, of the Free Academy, the very first free public institution of higher education in the nation. Today, a thriving, urban, multicultural institution and a senior college of CUNY, Baruch attracts motivated students of proven achievement who are seriously committed to making their dreams a reality. Their ability and drive, along with the superb, professional education for which Baruch is known, have established the College's national and international reputation for excellence. In providing opportunity for these students, the College sustains the original mission of the Free Academy and the City University, adapting that mission to the needs of New York City, once a commercial hub, now a global corporate and financial powerhouse.
The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College is the largest collegiate school of business in the nation and the only CUNY school that offers business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
Baruch College's 15,500 students, who speak 110 languages and come from 160 countries, have been repeatedly named the most ethnically diverse student body in the United States.
UHY Advisors, Inc., a mid-size accounting firm, ranked as the Top 13 full-service professional services firms in the United States, by Accounting Today. UHY Advisors is not only based in the U.S., where it has 23 offices, but also is an independent member of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited, an international organization of firms that operate in 57 countries world wide. In december 2006 UHY was ranked 22nd in the world out of 34 international networks by fee income by International Accounting Bulletin.
UHY Advisors delivers professional financial, tax, and business consulting services to mid-sized and larger companies, refered to as the dynamic middle market. UHY Advisors provide a wealth of tax services and experience aimed at lowering the effective tax rate to keep businesses operating efficiently in today's ever-changing tax environment. Tax preparation and other compliance services are an essential part of the tax practice. UHY tax professionals possess expertise in domestic and international tax matters involving income, excise, estate and gift taxes. UHY Advisors have concentrated its efforts by working principally with corporate and partnership entities, as well as high net worth individuals with their retirement planning and estate planning. The firm solves complex tax issues and provides clients with creative, yet legally sound, tax planning advice and compliance services to reduce their tax burdens locally and throughout the world.