Baruch Students Will Help You File Taxes For Free


filing-taxesWhile most people dread tax time, hundreds of college students love it, and they’re volunteering their time to help people file their taxes for free. At Baruch College, anyone can walk in, no appointment necessary, for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.Michael Bradford use to spend hundreds of dollars to get his taxes done, but after losing his job, he turned to VITA. “Last year I didn’t make any money and I certainly don’t have any this year so when I found out about this program I was delighted.”

Many of the students are accounting or finance majors and they’ve all been trained to prepare taxes. They’re all IRS-certified.

The program started nearly 20 years ago, so many of the students have gone on to become CPA’s and return to help train new volunteers.

“Those trainers who train us come back every once in awhile and they’ll do spot checks to make sure our returns are accurate and we don’t have any mistakes,” said student Cathy Huang.

Last year, Baruch students filed more than 6,000 tax returns for nearly $6 million in refunds for their clients.

VITA client Maureen Baker said it’s a win/win situation. “The young lady is going to be a tax expert and so I’m helping her and she’s helping me.”

Shilpa Raghavan is about to graduate and already has an accounting job lined up. She said VITA volunteers were among the rare breed that actually love to do taxes. “When I’m sad I actually like to come here to do taxes,” she said. “The feedback you get from clients, it makes you happy.”

On the weekends, students head to five other locations throughout the City to prepare taxes, and they bring volunteers who speak Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

{ Newscenter}


  1. This program is also offered at York College, Queens College, and Brooklyn College on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.