Free tax filing at UW-Whitwater

Myles Luckett, Staff Reporter

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Qualified taxpayers are invited to get help with preparation for taxes as well as the electronic filing of the 2019 state and federal tax returns, free of charge. Sessions have already started and will run through April 11. They are open on Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Students all over campus can get their taxes done totally free,” says Robert Meyers, director of the clinic.

The clinic is run as a course meant to help accounting students learn and apply tax law. Students pass certifications so they can participate and gain real-life experience. The clinic is designed to serve those in the community, such as students, elderly or any other low to moderate income taxpayers.

“We do taxes for regular students. But we really do a lot of taxes for the foreign exchange students on campus as well because their taxes are a little harder and they aren’t used to the system. Of course, their families aren’t here to help them and give them support and some countries handle taxes totally differently,” said Robert Meyers.

Aside from accounting students, VITA has served as a learning experience for other types of students as well. Those who go in to get taxes done can ask the accounting students about the process of filing taxes correctly, learning tips on filing for the future.

“In the past I always paid to get my taxes done. It was never a large sum of money, but it was still money that was coming out of my pocket. So, when I heard about this it was a no-brainer to come. This time around, I asked the student helpers more questions to try and steal secrets to filing from them for post-graduation,” said Tyler Thompson, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Some students are using the clinic as a way of avoiding past mistakes. Surprisingly there were numerous cases of people on campus who didn’t file their taxes on time last year, or even at all.

“Last year I filed my taxes like a week late because I didn’t realize how soon it needed to be done; and, by the time I found out I couldn’t find anyone to do them. My mom said I got penalized 14%,” said William White, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater VITA clinic is located on Starin Rd. in Timothy J. Hyland Hall, room 809. Parking is available across the street in lot 7. Aside from Saturdays, a parking pass or passport parking is required; but, a free parking pass for the tax clinic can be requested at the Visitor’s Center before 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.

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