SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -

More than three million tax returns are done through a program called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) nationwide.

Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo  are also pitching in to help their community.

Geoffrey Myers, a senior at Cal Poly said he enjoyed helping the San Luis Obispo (SLO) community.

Students like Myers will be helping prepare tax returns for families and individuals with incomes of less than $50,000.

“Not only do we get credit we also get technical skills and help people while doing it,” Myers said.

Myers said they have a great system of checks and balances, if a student is stuck, an instructor is available to help.

Hilda Zacharias a Cal Poly SLO professor, said “We found a way for accounting students to learn by doing.”

The annual VITA program is coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service.

Zacharias said “There are a lot of options for people to avoid having to pay fees. As  a professional accountant, there are times that you really do want to go and have someone with higher experience help with what your tax needs are, but there are a lot of times where we just don’t need that.”

The program is part of the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sanctioned and coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, call 805-756-2667 (English and Spanish) or visit www.vita.calpoly.edu.