Free Tax Service at Empire College

March 7, 2019

Free Tax Service at Empire College

Why is filing our tax return so cumbersome for most of us? A main contributor is that there are so many variables to consider. Whether it’s cross-referencing receipts for deductions, updating your marital status, or claiming a dependent for the first time. The process is overwhelming and lends the potential for individuals to choose the wrong option for their specific situation, which can negatively impact the amount of a tax return.

Some of the most common mistakes while filing taxes include math miscalculations, misspelled names, direct deposit dangers, additional income, filing status errors, and even missing the deadline. To avoid these kinds of issues, some people feel better about getting professional help or second opinions.

If you fall into this bracket and make under $54,000 in annual household income, there are a few benefits you’ll want to consider as you prepare. For the ninth year, Empire College is offering a free income tax clinic to community residents in partnership with United Way of the Wine Country’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program – also called Earn It, Keep It, Save It.

Trained tax preparers, who are IRS certified in advanced tax preparation, will provide free tax help to people that make $54,000 or less per year. Last year, Empire College accounting students and other volunteers prepared more than 1,495 tax returns, returning almost $2.2 million in refunds to local communities.

To celebrate the kick-off of tax season and VITA’s tax clinics, an event was held on January 27th at Empire College. There, people learned the benefits and how to enroll in health care programs such as California’s Medicaid, Calfresh Enrollment, and CalWORKS. United Way and Empire College’s accounting program students offered insight on direct deposit and bank services, helping to provide a smooth-sailing tax season.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit United Way Wine Country.



Angela Emerick, Esq.

(Class of 2015)

"Being born in Australia and becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2009, I understand the process and honor of becoming an American citizen and am proud to help those in their quest to become citizens and better their lives."

Daryl Reese, Esq.

(Class of 2014)

"I decided to enroll in Law School when I was 50 years old having enjoyed a full career in the nonprofit sector. Now I have a robust business and nonprofit law practice serving clients throughout the State of California and I am loving it. I could never have made that kind of career transition if it had not been for Empire Law School. The opportunity to take evening courses and at a cost far less than other law schools, and to do so in my own community made my career shift affordable, enjoyable, and attainable."

Orchid Vaghti, Esq.

(Class of 2010)

"There are not that many new lawyers who have the experience to go to trial. They would not be ready for it. Seeing the practical points of the legal process through her Empire education gave Orchid an advantage."
- L. Stephen Turer, Esq.