Published : Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | 12:26 PM
Some schools go beyond their realm of academic concerns and reach out to people in need. An example of such institution is University of the West, which has been doing something incredible to the less fortunate for the past six years.
Their good deed? The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
This program offers free tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
For the spring 2015 tax season, 21 UWest volunteers filed taxes for 478 taxpayers…all for free.
“At University of the West, we started to provide the VITA service six years ago and it has been running continuously every year since. I have been involved in this program for three years now as the main site coordinator, and I am happy to report that we continue to see wide support for our service both within and outside the UWest community,” says Chi Sheh, Assistant Professor at University of the West.
Most of the volunteers are University of the West business students and alumni, and there are also some outside volunteers (both students and working professionals) who help out during the tax season.
“At University of the West, we believe that our students can make a difference in providing community service to those people in need in our community. We see the VITA service as a valuable hands-on means of getting our students a positive venue to learn while providing a needed service. Our international student body allows for us to be able to better serve our community,” says Sheh.
Volunteers render tax service not only at UWest campus but also at Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights to serve taxpayers in that community.
Good job, UWest!
University of the West is located at 1409 Walnut Grove Avenue, Rosemead. For more information, call (626) 5718811 or visit www.uwest.edu.