MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The long-running Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program at South Texas College returns after a two-year hiatus, said a South Texas College news release.

The VITA office is set to reopen on Jan. 30 through March 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help Valley residents by offering free tax preparation for those who make $60,000 or less, people with disabilities, or limited English-speaking taxpayers.

“This is all about giving our students real-world experience. It’s the reason STC takes this on every year,” said STC Accounting Professor John Wilson. “We are looking for ways to get students into a professional office environment, get them trained and ready to assist with income tax services in the community. It’s about working together as a team.”

The sites are staffed with IRS-certified volunteers who have completed training and can provide tax counseling, according to the news release.

STC Accounting student Aylin Salinas said she jumped at the chance to gain experience in the field.

“I just think it’s nice to be able to help the community and give them some knowledge they might not have had prior,” Salinas said. “I grew up in a low-income family and I saw how many people didn’t understand taxes, and they would go somewhere and often pay more than they should have. It’s nice to know there are some free resources here on campus that we can offer the community.”

The service will take place at the STC Pecan campus, Building T, Room 1.702 as well as for orientation, training, and for those interested in volunteering, which will take place at the same location on Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointment for service is handled through the United Way. Those interested in scheduling an appointment can call 956-607-9030 or visit