Students recieve help with taxes

Myles Luckett, Journalist

Taxes: one of the most complicated things to deal with as a college student, and a gateway into adult adulthood. But free tax preparation clinics are offered through the UW-Whitewater VITA program through April 11. are being explained and assisted with at the Income Tax Workshop. For the first day, there was a presentation providing basic information regarding taxes, deductibles, and important information to know regarding how to file correctly. The Tax Clinic/Program was also introduced which offers free tax preparation and electronic filing for qualifying taxpayers.

“You can drop off your taxes and we can let you know when you are done and then you guys can come back and pick them up, which is nice. The good thing is, is that if people have the question they can ask, if there’s things that our tax advisers are letting us know ‘hey we can do such and such this to get an additional credit,’ we have that ability where you may not see that from a tax software online,” said Jenny, presenter at the Income Tax Workshop.

With educating and helping prepare those who come to the workshop, many would say this is one of the best resources on campus. The VITA tax clinic is being run and staffed by certified students who can help with preparation and supervised by faculty in the College of Business and Economics Accounting department. One of the goals is to provide hands-on experience for graduate and undergraduate accounting students, but the free VITA clinic helps students of Whitewater as well as surrounding communities.

“The clinic is for everybody, we’ll say officially if you make less than $60,000. Unless you are in the military though, under military it is completely different. But for non-military people, anybody out there who makes under 60,000, makes no rental income and no foreign tax credit scam, and of course that’s something that’s way out there,” said Jenny.

Although the tax clinic is mainly used to offer free tax preparation and electronic filing for qualifying taxpayers, the work doesn’t stop there. A couple of different students and community members attending the workshop had already had their taxes complete, but they wanted to educate themselves on how paying taxes works. There was a newly-wed couple there who had questions regarding filing as a couple, and those type of questions were easily answered.

“Me and my husband just got married and we both already filed our taxes for this year so we really just wanted to use this as an opportunity to get educated on filing as a couple going forward. Usually we try to do things on our own, but we know we need to use the resources allowed to us in order to do this correctly,” stated Maria Benzo, Whitewater community member.

Others come to the workshop for totally other reasons that have nothing to do with getting educated, but simply for getting a tax return for this year. Both scenarios are of course okay, and that is what the workshop is meant for.

“The reason I came to the tax workshop is because my mom would not help me file my taxes this year and I literally had no idea on how to do it or where to even send the information in. I was told by my roommate about the clinic and when he said it was free and all I had to do was bring the necessary forms and I could just drop it off and come back later to pick it up, I was sold,” said Joshua Reeves, student at UW-Whitewater.

It is important to bring W-2s, social security cards, and individual taxpayer identification cards. The VITA Clinic runs every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. except for March 21, 25 and 28.

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