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September 6, 2011

VITA receives grant to fund computers, student stipends

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) received $7,500 from the Provost’s Office in August 2011 to fund a campus VITA kiosk site. Money from the grant will fund the purchase of three laptop computers, paper and other supplies, as well as provide stipends for experienced VITA students to staff the kiosk, according to Dr. D'Arcy Becker, chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance.

The location for the VITA kiosk still needs to be determined, said Becker.

Kiosk site customers will prepare their own returns. VITA students will be available to help taxpayers log in, answer questions and ensure that the experience goes smoothly for them. Initially, target customers for the VITA kiosk will be UW-Eau Claire students, and faculty and staff with 2011 annual income of $57,000 or less. All kiosk customers will be required to show a UW-Eau Claire ID.

VITA will continue to provide income tax assistance to community members who have traditionally accessed these services at RCU Shopko South Office and Western Dairyland. However, the option of using the VITA kiosk soon may be available to them. "Once we have information about demand, we can make an informed decision about whether to open the site to community members," Becker said.

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