Southwestern College to offer free tax prep

SAN DIEGO — Southwestern College announced Tuesday that its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will offer free tax preparation services for the fifth consecutive year.

More than 30 students in the program will volunteer with South Bay Community Services to help fellow students and low-income residents prepare their tax returns. According to accounting professor Maria Martinez-Sanabria, who oversees the program, more than 1,250 people used the service last year. She expects that number to continue to rise.

“They are blossoming as they provide the community with service and giving themselves real-life experience that can lead to a job,” Martinez- Sanabria said of the students, who receive a letter of recommendation from the Internal Revenue Service after completing the program.

Tax preparation sessions will be available Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Southwestern College, beginning Friday and continuing through April 13, on a first-come, first-serve basis for people who made less than $55,000 last year.

Attendees should bring their tax documents, a social security card, a blank check for direct deposit of their refund and information for family members being reported on their tax returns.

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