Tax time can be stressful, especially for those who can't afford to hire a tax prep service like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt.

Several California State University (CSU) groups are again offering free tax preparation assistance through trained and certified student volunteers, in partnership with the IRS program Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

The free services are generally available to people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Veterans are also eligible for free tax preparation services thanks to a partnership between the IRS and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

In some cases, student VITA clinics will also prepare tax returns for international students with F-1 or J-1 visas. The purpose of the CSU VITA programs is twofold: to provide community support and to offer students valuable experiential learning in the field of taxation.

Here is a roundup of CSU groups offering free tax filing help, with locations on- and off-campus:

California State University, Bakersfield

Offered by: CSUB's Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the School of Business and Public Administration in partnership with Community Action Partnership of Kern's (CAPK) VITA program

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through April 14. Available by appointment only.

Where: Business Development Center, Room A218. Call (661) 654-3406 to make an appointment.

California State University, Chico  

Offered by: Beta Alpha Psi chapter

When: Hours vary by location; available until April 4.

Where: CSU Chico Bell Memorial Union; Dorothy Johnson Center and C.A.R.D. Details here.


California State University, Fullerton

Offered by: Student-run VITA chapter, in partnership with the Orange County United Way

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays until April 14 (closed March 30 and 31); walk-ins only.

Where: CSUF Education Classroom Building, Room 008


California State University, Los Angeles

Offered by: Department of Accounting, in partnership with State Farm and H&R Block

When: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays until April 14. Sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where: Cal State LA Salazar Hall C-343


California State University, Northridge

Offered by: CSUN VITA Clinic

When: Hours vary by location; available until April 14. (After March 1, walk-ins will no longer be accepted.)

Where: Nine San Fernando Valley locations. CSUN will offer services especially for veterans on February 22, starting at 10 a.m., at the University Student Union, East Conference Center.


California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Offered by: College of Business Administration, in partnership with the Inland Empire United Way

When: Hours vary by location; available through April 7 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where: Boys & Girls Club of Pomona Valley, Pomona Public Library and West Covina Library. Details here.


San Francisco State University

Offered by: Beta Alpha Psi chapter

When: 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays; available through April 18.

Where: Science Building, Room 205


California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Offered by: Orfalea College of Business

When: Hours vary by location; available on Saturdays through March 31 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where: Business Building (No. 3), American Job Center of California and Allan Hancock College Community Education Center. Details here.


California State University, Stanislaus

Offered by: Stanislaus State Office of Service Learning and The College of Business

When: February 23 and March 3, 17 and 24. Available by appointment only.

Where: Turlock Salvation Army Community Center. Call (209) 667-6091 to make an appointment.


Find more VITA sites by location through the IRS.

​​​What to Bring to Your Appointment

  • Valid photo identification
  • Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) cards for the entire family
  • A copy of the previous year's tax return
  • Wages and earnings statements (including W-2, 1099 and 1098 forms)
  • Documentation for deductions and credits
  • Child care documentation, including provider identification number and amount paid
  • A voided check for direct deposit of refund, if you are due one