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Accounting students provide free income tax assistance

| Gretchen Hutterli

It's tax season! Time to gather up your income statement and other tax documents for VITA.

Accounting students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will once again provide free income tax return preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a special program of the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. To qualify for the service, clients must have incomes of $54,000 or less.

VITA volunteers will prepare and e-file tax returns; those with more complicated returns or questions will be referred to the IRS or advised to seek private professional assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis by the VITA volunteer.

VITA services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Starting Feb. 11, students will be available to meet with clients from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every Monday until April 15 at the Royal Credit Union Shopko South Office. No service will be provided on March 25 when the university is closed for spring break. 

Taxpayers seeking assistance must bring the following information:

  • Photo ID.
  • Social Security cards for taxpayer and all dependents.
  • Earnings statements.
  • Copy of last year's tax return.
  • Child care provider information.
  • Rent certificates from landlord or property tax statement.
  • Financial institution's routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
  • Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Care Act statements.

To file taxes electronically on a married filing jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms. VITA volunteers cannot file married filing separately tax returns.

The UW-Eau Claire VITA program has been providing tax assistance for nearly 25 years. Last year, students prepared more than 800 tax returns, according to Brenda Thalacker, VITA coordinator in the UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance.

Appointments are required - call RCU at 800-341-9911, ext 6 to reserve your time.

2018 VITA Schedule, Feb. 11-April 15
(Closed March 25)

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Royal Credit Union Shopko South Office
1049 W. Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, WI