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Lakeland College and Lakeshore Technical College are partnering again this year on a tax preparation program which has returned more than $8 million to some area residents who need it the most.
Lakeland and LTC provide free tax preparation and electronic filing for low income tax filers. This service is available through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which is designed to help low- to moderate-income people file their tax returns. Schenck SC is sponsoring the VITA program again this year.
Students in the accounting program from each institution will be available at the Sheboygan Salvation Army, 710 Pennsylvania Ave. The free service will be open on Tuesdays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. starting January 26 and ending April 9.
The service is also available at LTC's Cleveland campus on Monday nights from 4:30-6:30 p.m. starting January 28, and at the Manitowoc County Job Center, 3733 Dewey St., on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. starting January 26.
Last year, Lakeland and LTC students prepared and filed more than 900 returns that helped local taxpayers collect more than $1.4 million in refunds. In its first eight years, Lakeland's program has collected close to $8.5 million in tax refunds for low income earners in the area.
People interested in taking advantage of this free service must have income under $51,000 a year. Applicants must bring a photo ID; social security cards for themselves, their spouse and dependents; W-2 forms; 1099 forms; rent certificate or 2011 property tax bill; and a copy of their 2011 tax return. Returns cannot be done for those taxpayers having income from outside Wisconsin sources, those having complex tax returns and those who are non-US residents.
Registered tax return preparers and enrolled agents can earn up to 14 hours of continuing education credits by volunteering as a quality reviewer at a VITA site. Those interested may contact Brett Killion at email@example.com.
Reservations are required for the tax service and will be accepted beginning January 14. The number to call for reservations at the Salvation Army is (920) 565-1543. The number to call for reservations at LTC or the Manitowoc County Job Center is (920) 693-1398.