SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Tax season is officially underway and volunteers spent the day Saturday helping prepare close to 100 tax returns in Santa Maria.
Community volunteers with the United Way and Cal Poly students, on a CPA career path, provided the service for anyone who earns less than $56,000 dollars a year.
The service is available at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, thanks to Cal Poly's Orfalea College of Business and the the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
All the volunteers are certified by the IRS and are able to prepare basic and advanced filings.
The money saved can now be spent elsewhere.
"It's so rewarding to see the people and the system with the free service, in which any other way they would get charged anywhere from $80 to $150 dollars maybe even more, so that's money that goes back into their pocket and that's money that gets spent here locally," said Sandy Soria with the United Way.
More than 125 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
The free service is available every Saturday until March 31st, you just have to call and make an appointment. You can schedule an appointment by calling 805-922-0329, ext. 105.
Participants need to bring an ID, Social Security card and/or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, 2016 tax returns and all 2017 tax-related documents, including child care expenses and health insurance coverage information.