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Accounting students offer free tax preparation

| 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-serve basis. Starting February 6 students will be available to meet with clients every Monday and Wednesday until April 12 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the RCU Shopko South Office. No service will be provided on March 20 and 22 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 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 has been providing tax assistance for nearly 25 years. Last year, students prepared over 900 tax returns, according to Brenda Thalacker, VITA coordinator in the UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance.

For more information, contact the UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance at (715) 836-2184. 

2017 VITA Schedule, February 6-April 12
(Closed March 20 and 22)

Mondays and Wednesdays
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
RCU Shopko South Office
1049 W. Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, WI