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PROVIDING FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION FOR LOW AND MODERATE HOUSEHOLDS IN DOUGLAS, ASHLAND, BAYFIELD, IRON & PRICE COUNTIES ACCESS TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTE.

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Presentation on theme: "PROVIDING FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION FOR LOW AND MODERATE HOUSEHOLDS IN DOUGLAS, ASHLAND, BAYFIELD, IRON & PRICE COUNTIES ACCESS TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTE."— Presentation transcript:

1 PROVIDING FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION FOR LOW AND MODERATE HOUSEHOLDS IN DOUGLAS, ASHLAND, BAYFIELD, IRON & PRICE COUNTIES ACCESS TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTE ASSISTANCE

2  WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  Households within NWCSA’s five county service area, making less than $49,000 a year combined personal income, are eligible for free preparation of the their state and federal tax returns.  WHAT IS THE PURPOSE? MAKE YOUR INCOME WORK FOR YOU! A.To reduce tax burden B.To get back what you’ve earned C.To put more money back into your community  HOW DOES IT WORK? Households qualifying for assistance can schedule/walk-in to specifically designated tax preparation sites located in our service area.

3 GOALS:  Provide free tax return preparation assistance to eligible households throughout Douglas, Ashland, Bayfield, Iron and Price Counties  Bring awareness of potential benefits available to low-income individuals:  Badgercare  Food Share  Medicare  Medicaid

4 COST: Those who can least afford to invest in paid income tax preparers must spend $ on average per year* Income tax refunds often go to pay bills or buy necessities; paid tax preparation takes funds away from those most in need of using them for basic living expenses Free on-line tax preparation services generally require high-speed internet for successful transmission; These services are costly Few low-income households can afford their own computers or the cost of internet service * About.com

5 TIME Tax preparation can be time consuming and complicated Quick refunds require electronic filing—The federal government prefers electronic filing SAFETY Public access computers are not always safe alternatives for tax preparation—(identity theft, etc.) Direct deposit is safer than paper checks (mail-box theft)

6 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES  TAX SITE GREETER:  Greets Clients  Directs flow of traffic  No computer skills necessary  TAX SITE OFFICE ASSISTANTS  Provide clerical assistance  Copying, organizing paperwork  Answering phone/returning calls  TAX PREPARATION INTERVIEWER  Gather information from clients to help tax preparer with tax form preparation  No computer skills necessary

7  TAX PREPARER  Prepares Federal and Wisconsin income tax returns  Utilize tax software  Computer skills preferred  No previous tax preparation training required—training provided  TAX RETURN REVIEWER  Reviews all Federal and Wisconsin tax returns  Finds and corrects any errors on tax returns  Utilize tax software  Computer skills preferred  Helpful to have prior knowledge of tax law  TAX SITE COORDINATOR  Supervisory Role  Transmits returns  Prior knowledge of and experience in tax preparation necessary  Further training on specific tax software provided

8 TAX PREPARATION Training: All tax preparers and reviewers are required to complete the VITA training to become certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program volunteers. Only certified tax preparers are eligible to prepare tax returns. It is recommended that all volunteers receive this training, though greeters and administrative/clerical volunteers may only need to complete the basic volunteer training. Liability: Our program will be certified as a IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) site. As such, the forms will be numbered to identify the site, not the preparer. Volunteers do not sign the returns and there is no liability to the tax preparer or the site. Any returns with errors will be returned to the program; participants will then be contacted to return to help with corrections. Locations: Superior & Ashland Schedule: Training begins in December Tax sites open January - April

9  Internal Revenue Service  Wisconsin Department of Revenue  UW-Extension  Northland WI Financial Wellness Group  Metro Credit Union  Superior Choice Credit Union  Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (Ashland)


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