What is the VITA Program?VITA is an IRS sponsored, free tax preparation program that is offered to low to moderate income, elderly and disabled members of the community who are not able to afford professional tax filing services. All tax preparers are trained in tax law and are required to be certified by the IRS to prepare tax returns as volunteers.
Our College Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (Our College VITA) program is a coalition of colleges in Queens and Brooklyn that is co-sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Queens/Brooklyn Chapter of the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPAs) http://www.nysscpa.org/epass/Chapters/ChapterInfo.aspx?ID=200007. The program provides free tax preparation assistance to underserved communities and to low-to-moderate income individuals who could not afford the services of professional tax preparers. VITA is an IRS initiative that originated with the Tax Reform Act of 1969 as part of the increased emphasis on taxpayer education programs. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/People-Helping-People
This college VITA coalition began in spring 2009 under the auspices of Robert Clovey, Associate Professor of Accounting & Taxation who is also a New York State CPA and past-president of the Queens/Brooklyn Chapter of the NYSSCPA. http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?unsupportedBrowser=1&trk=EML_nus_prof-F1-2 Currently, the coalition comprises of four colleges (Brooklyn College, Queens College, La Guardia Community College and York College) and engages more than 500 student interns from the various campuses each tax season.
Our main objective is to create one of the largest internship and networking opportunities for Accounting and Business students across the nation. It will facilitate teaching skills that are useful to these entry-level professionals. These junior professionals will interact with and receive mentoring from seasoned Accounting professionals through the direct interaction with CPAs that are members of the NYSSCPA. Since its inception, Our College VITA engaged approximately 2,500 student interns who have served more than of 25,000 clients and have generated in excess of $25 million in Federal and New York State refunds. Our VITA interns are primarily Accounting majors, more than 85% of whom are certified at the highest certification level (Advanced Certification) offered by the IRS for volunteer income tax preparers.
Student participants are rigorously trained to ensure that our clients are provided with the highest level of quality and professional service and are able to obtain the maximum benefits afforded to them. Although a free service to our clients, we pride ourselves in providing a high quality service no different from that afforded by a paid professional.
Meet the schools involved in the VITA Program
Brooklyn VITA, Queens VITA and York VITA were all established by Professor Clovey.
York College (YC) – York VITA was established in the summer of 2007. In 2010, the York VITA was ranked # 28 out of 9,539 (by volume of returns prepared) in e-filing VITA sites nationwide. The site was also ranked as the largest college e-filing VITA site in New York State and the second largest nationwide.
Brooklyn College (BC) – Brooklyn College participated in the VITA program for the first time in 2010. In its first year, the site engaged approximately 100 students who prepared more than 1,000 tax returns and generated in excess of $1 million dollars in refunds. The school was ranked # 419 out of 9539 sites nationwide. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is an avid sponsor the Brooklyn College VITA program.
Queens College (QC) – Queens College participated in the VITA program for the first time in 2010. This was our smallest and sole appointment-only site. The volunteers served approximately 500 clients at both York at Queens College campuses.
La Guardia Community College (LGCC) – La Guardia Community College is the newest member of the coalition. Students from LGCC participated in the VITA coalition for the first time during the 2011 tax filing season. Student interns work at the York VITA site
Vision for OUR COLLEGE VITA
We would like to establish a high school VITA coalition. This initiative will be rolled out in the spring of 2014 and will work to strengthen the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program of the Queens/Brooklyn Chapter of the NYSSCPA. This is a program whose main objective is to provide exposure to high school students to the Accounting profession. http://www.nysscpa.org/blog/category/COAP
- Work Force One
December 18 & 19,2009
Time 6:00- 8:00pm
Subject: Free Tax Prep