Cal Poly to Again Provide Free Tax Preparation for Underserved Communities

Accounting students with VITA program have prepared basic forms on campus annually since 1991; additional Saturday clinics will be held in Oceano and Santa Maria 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — For the 29th consecutive year, Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business is providing free tax return preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Cal Poly’s on-campus VITA clinics will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from Feb. 1 through March 14.

More than 100 Cal Poly accounting students will prepare tax returns as part of this year’s VITA program, which is sanctioned and coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service and California Franchise Tax Board. These IRS-certified students will prepare returns, and Orfalea College of Business faculty and volunteer certified public accountants will review and file the returns. Students will prepare basic forms for local individuals and families earning less than $54,000. These include 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 540, 540A, 540EZ and some supporting forms.

The Cal Poly clinic will be held on the third floor of the Business Building (No. 3). Visitors should enter the campus on California Boulevard and follow the signs to the Orfalea College of Business. Parking is free and available in lots C4 and C7 near the Business Building. The clinic is wheelchair accessible. No appointments are needed. People will be served on a first-come basis. Community members should arrive at Cal Poly before 1 p.m. to allow sufficient time to complete returns accurately. 

Participants are asked to bring their ID, Social Security card and/or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, 2018 tax returns and all 2019 tax-related documents, including child-care expenses and health insurance coverage information.

Clients have the option of filling out necessary forms available on the VITA program website, dropping them off at the clinic, and returning the following weekend to review the tax return and sign necessary documents. 

Students will also staff additional VITA clinics at two other Central Coast locations in partnership with the United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County. These include:

• Allan Hancock College Community Education Center (Building S)
800 S. College Drive, Santa Maria
Seven Saturday sessions, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Feb. 8 through April 4 (closed Feb. 15 and March 21)
By appointment only; call 805-922-0329, ext. 103

• Oceano Elementary School
1551 17th St., Oceano
Seven Saturday sessions, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 8 through March 21
Appointments available on Feb. 8; call 805-541-1234; Walk-ins only starting Feb. 15

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has hosted VITA clinics on campus since 1991. In the last decade, students have helped prepare more than 7,000 tax returns for community members. The clinics serve as a valuable, hands-on senior project, allowing students to prepare returns, interact with clients and help underserved communities.

Students also have the chance to work with faculty members and tax professionals. This year’s VITA program is led by Cal Poly faculty members Trisha Daughtrey and Michelle Curry of San Luis Obispo. 

For more information, call 805-756-2667 (English and Spanish) or visit For more details on the United Way clinics, call 805-922-0329, ext. 103.

About the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly
Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business prepares career-ready, global business leaders through the university’s Learn by Doing philosophy. The undergraduate program offers a polytechnic education in a broad range of disciplines in business administration, economics, and industrial technology and packaging. The college also offers master’s degrees in business administration, business analytics, accounting, taxation and economics. It is one of six academic colleges at Cal Poly, a nationally ranked, four-year comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. For more information, go to

Contact: Trisha Daughtrey​​​​​​​

Jan. 22, 2020

# # #


Related Content