Free income tax assistance at LBCC with VITA

Story by Cassandra Reichelt

Vita's volunteers Chanh Sing and Laura Kusaba goal is to help assist people who make 55,000 or less, people with disabilities and people who are limited English speakers. Unlike other tax filing places, Vita is completely free, which can be really convientient to college students near the Long Beach area. (Photos by Johana Trujillo).

For the first time ever LBCC is hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for the current tax season to help people with their taxes and it’s free.

Even though LBCC hosts VITA, anyone in the community who needs help with their taxes can come and get it done at LBCC, it is not limited to just students.

Mondays and Wednesdays in Building M at room M117 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in room M115 is where VITA can help with taxes.

VITA has IRS certified volunteers who are qualified to help fill out tax forms for people who need their help.

VITA will be here at LAC from Feb. 25 through April 6 to help students with their taxes.

VITA had previously worked with Cal State Long Beach and has now partnered up with LBCC to get the tax season up and rolling.

According to Laura Kusaba a co-coordinator for VITA, Tanya Weinheimer is an instructor at LBCC and is the main coordinator for VITA.

Tax season can be a stressful time for many people who struggle with their taxes.

Chanh Sing, a student at LBCC and intake coordinator for VITA, “I’m certified to fill out forms for people who come in and need help filling out their tax forms,” Sing said.

LBCC student Maria Sanchez and Melvin Varela work together in preparation for taxes (Photo by Johana Trujilla).

VITA offers free tax help to people who make about $55,000 or less and have disabilities as well as limited speaking of English, according to IRS.

Melvin Varela has been a student at LBCC since 2015 and because he took a tax class in the Fall of 2018 he wanted to help and get involved with VITA.

According to Sing, Saturdays are the busiest and Mondays are the slowest for VITA at LBCC.

All that is required for VITA is that the taxpayer brings all the necessary requirements that come with taxes and VITA will file it correctly for the taxpayer.