Income Tax Worries? Free Tax Assistance is Being Offered by William Paterson Students

From left: VITA Volunteers Jorge Villar, Jonathan Khanales, Ardit Pervizi,
Professor Avdeev, and Ivona Ristovska

VITA drop off box at 1600 Valley Road

With tax season upon us, William Paterson University students are volunteering to help people prepare their personal tax returns from now through April 15, 2021 through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

“We are very proud of our program since it supports not only our students, faculty and staff, but also our local community,” says Valeriya Avdeev, professor of accounting and law and director of the Volunteer Tax Assistance program.

“Our VITA program offers free tax help to low- and moderate-income individuals who cannot prepare their own tax returns. It also offers our student volunteers hands-on experience that they cannot acquire in the classroom—real client interactions and the ability to develop skills that will help them evolve into well-rounded business professionals”

“Running this program has truly been a heartwarming experience,” she adds. “Many of our clients have been coming back to us to have their returns prepared for many years.”

The VITA program has been a community service at William Paterson for decades. It is a federal-and state supported program to assist people in filling out a tax return. It’s also an opportunity for the University’s accounting and business students to gain hands-on learning. Students volunteer for the program and provide much-needed help to members of the community.

This year, due to COVID, tax assistance will not be offered in person. Anyone earning less than $66,000 who needs help filling out their 1040 or 1040NR tax return is invited to drop off copies of their documentation at the drop box at 1600 Valley Road, Room 4061, Department of Accounting and Law. Instructions and forms are available by the box.

Avdeev advises people to prepare early rather than wait until the last minute. Bring copies of all pertinent records. Once accounting students prepare the taxes, they will be checked by the professor. Student-volunteers will call clients and let them know when returns are ready to be picked up. For more information, email