Touro Law Center a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Designated Site

Date: January 19, 2011
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

Law Students Receiving Training, Provide Assistance to Community Members.

Central Islip, NY –Approximately 30 Touro Law students have volunteered to participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Through this public service project, sponsored by the United States Internal Revenue Service, students are trained as volunteers to offer free tax help to low- to moderate-income community members who cannot prepare their own tax returns. This year, Touro Law Center is a VITA site, allowing students to work with community members and file tax returns directly from the law school. The program is overseen by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, who assists with recruitment of volunteers, training and supplying necessary materials for the program.

“I was involved with the VITA program last year and offered to co-direct the program this year to ensure that Touro Law students would continue to assist members of the local community prepare their tax returns correctly and free of scams,” said program co-director and second-year student Joseph Leocata. “I am working toward a career in tax law and this program has enabled me to experience the pro-bono side of the law while gaining valuable hands-on experience.”

Touro Law’s VITA office, located in the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center on the second floor of the law school, will open February 1st and remain open until the filing deadline in April. The program is being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 – 7:00 p.m. Residents interested in having Touro Law students help them with taxes are asked to bring: photo identification; social security cards for individuals, spouses and family members; current year’s tax package if you received one, wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers; interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099); a copy of last year’s Federal and State returns if available; bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit; total paid for day care; day care providers identifying number. Please note: to file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present.