FEB. 8, 2001

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu



Free tax help available from accounting students


Taxpayers can get free reporting and filing assistance at California State University, Bakersfield through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Accounting students at CSUB will provide free preparation of California and federal tax returns. The VITA program will be held in Dorothy Donahoe Hall, Room C-114 on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 14.

VITA volunteers will prepare federal 1040EZ and 1040A returns and California 540EZ and 540A returns. They will also prepare less complex "long form" 1040 and 540 returns. VITA volunteers will assist in completing returns and check the accuracy of returns. They will also answer inquiries from those who wish to file their own returns.

The VITA site at CSUB will also have electronic filing (EFILE) available for both federal and state returns. They will EFILE returns they have prepared and they will EFILE those returns that taxpayers themselves have prepared. All returns will be computer-checked and processed. VITA volunteers can also provide guidance on using the Internet for tax research.

Individuals seeking VITA assistance should bring a copy of 1999 tax returns, copies of 2000 W-2 forms and 1099s, and all taxpayer and dependent Social Security numbers and dates of birth for identification.

James Patten, CPA, CSUB professor of accounting and a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, trains VITA volunteers. On-site supervisor is Jim St. Amour, IRS VITA coordinator for Kern County.

To make an appointment at the CSUB VITA site, or to obtain a list of all Kern County VITA sites and hours, please call Patten at (661) 664-2339.