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Lakeland College is offering free tax preparation and electronic filing for low income tax filers until April 16.
Students in Lakeland's accounting program, working under the supervision of members of Lakeland's business faculty, will be available at the Sheboygan Salvation Army; 710 Pennsylvania Ave. The free service will be open on Monday April 16, some Tuesdays and most Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Some dates are excluded due to school breaks. No appointment is necessary, although advance reservations can be made by calling 565-1543.
Last year, Lakeland students prepared and filed 350 returns that helped taxpayers collect $463,073 in refunds. The average total refund was $1,395 with a federal average of $925 and a state average of $470.
Lakeland students are providing this service through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which is designed to help low- to moderate-income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns.
People interested in taking advantage of this free service must have income under $40,000 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 2005 property tax bill; and a copy of their 2005 tax return.
Assistance will be given in preparing several forms including, Wisconsin Form 1 and 1A, Federal 1040 and 1040A, Schedule R (credit for the elderly and disabled) and Wisconsin Homestead Credit. 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.
A representative from M&I Bank will also be on hand for anyone wishing to set up an account for direct deposit of their tax refund.
For additional information about this program, please contact Professor Rick Gaumer in the Lakeland business division at 565-1351.