A program that prepares and files at no charge tax forms for thousands of Milwaukee County residents is getting ready for the quickly approaching tax season.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the Milwaukee Asset Building Coalition and Social Development Commission is gearing up to begin preparing state and federal tax forms. Tax preparers who have already undergone certification training are getting last minute briefings on changes in tax forms for this season. Joseph Malone of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue spent time with the preparers to tell them what is new for Wisconsin tax forms this year.
The VITA program helps income eligible residents get their taxes done free. Last tax season, more than 15,000 tax forms were filed at no charge that brought back more than $14-million in tax refunds and credits to local residents.
The program received a boost recently when the Greater Milwaukee Foundation joined supporters by announcing a $100,000 grant. Funds from the foundation will provide support to the VITA program and its assistance to low and moderate income families. It will also fund a financial literacy component including financial wellness workshops and coaching. Included in that effort will be signing up families for traditional banking accounts so they can avoid fees and high interest rates that many unbanked residents face.
The VITA program will begin preparing taxes at sites across the county starting on Tuesday, January 21st. To see the dates, hours, and sites of tax service, visit the SDC website at www.cr-sdc.org/index/Programs–Services/VITA.htm.