Free tax prep vital to area
For the 2011
tax year, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
(VITA) student and alumni tax preparers at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical
College prepared more than 130 tax returns for people in the area at no cost and
returned in excess of $185,000 in refunds. The service provides an option for
those who cannot afford a paid tax preparer and/or don’t feel comfortable
preparing their own return.
marks two decades of free tax preparation at WITC. The project started strictly
with volunteers, but about 10 years ago, a two-credit course was developed,
which trains student in a service-learning environment.
accounting/finance instructor Tom Pedersen says, “Participation has continued to
grow over the years, but particularly in the last few.” He accredits this
success to the enthusiastic participation by WITC income tax preparation
students who receive course credit for their efforts, as well as the generous
volunteer efforts of WITC accounting alumni.
VITA provides free tax preparation for low income taxpayers on a
walk-in basis during the weeks before Tax Day. This year the preparers were
available Monday evenings from mid-February until the second week in April.