College of the Mainland (COM) is offering free assistance to help students and the community navigate the process of filing tax returns during a series of on-campus tax preparation services now through April 4. In partnership with United Way Galveston County Mainland’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, the free tax preparation services are open to students and community members who qualify.

The VITA program offers a safe alternative to high-fee tax preparation services by providing IRS-certified volunteers to provide basic return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. The service is open to individuals who make less than $60,000 per household per year.

“The goal is to have students educated on taxes,” said Patricia Mata, COM financial aid outreach specialist. “This is an effort to encourage financial literacy and educate students and the community about federal tax information. We want nothing more than to see our students and members of the community succeed.”

For the second year in a row, COM business and accounting students will apply their classroom learning to real-world application by helping prepare simple tax returns during the event. Through the VITA program, students who completed a tax course in the fall semester had an opportunity to attain their IRS certification in the spring.

“It is one thing to study and take exams, but it brings it full circle when you prepare a tax return for a real live person,” said Siromi Wijesinghe, COM assistant professor of accounting and business. “They are helping the community. It is an excellent service. For the student, it combines practical application with assisting the community during tax season. It is a win-win.”

The tax preparation sessions will be offered at COM on the following dates through April 4.

  • Tuesday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Friday, March 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 21, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Friday, March 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The services will take place at College of the Mainland, Doyle Family Administration Building - Rm. 127, 1200 Amburn Rd., Texas City, TX, 77591.

For more information about full eligibility requirements and more, visit or call 409-933-8887.