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Volunteers help provide free tax filing for students

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Fresno State students are offering their help as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help low-income earners file taxes.

“We train [students] on how to do taxes, how to operate the software and how to file the tax returns,” said Tim Baker the liaison with the State Controller’s Office.

The VITA program’s goal is to keep the tax service site at Fresno State in order to help students.

“We’re hoping to keep the site open even when the State Controller’s Office is no longer able to help us by using advanced students to be the managers of the site,” Baker said.

Jose Moralez, an accounting major at Fresno State, volunteers with VITA for the past two years.

“I prepare income taxes, and I also review other [volunteers’] work,” said Moralez. “I review all their documents and make sure that they were input correctly into the tax software.”

The VITA program began in February and helps people in many different languages such as spanish, mandarin and punjabi

“The coordinator is here, and they encourage us to go out of our comfort zones and help people that don’t necessarily speak English.” Moralez said.

Student Yohana Nava, who used the program last year, said not many students use VITA and wishes more would take advantage of the program.

“It’s hard to get [students] to come,” Nava said. “We try to get the word out, but they don’t know about the [program].”