Free tax preparation offered through UW-Whitewater VITA program

January 29, 2020

Written by Dana Krems | Photo by Craig Schreiner

Qualifying taxpayers are invited to receive free tax preparation and electronic filing of 2019 federal and state income tax returns at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinics. The IRS-sponsored program is available at no cost for low and moderate income taxpayers, and no appointments are needed.

From February 1 through April 11, the tax clinics will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. The clinic will be closed on March 21, March 25 and March 28. Taxpayers should arrive one hour before closing, and they will be served on a first come, first served basis.

The UW-Whitewater VITA clinic is located in room 1001 of Timothy J. Hyland Hall at 809 Starin Road in Whitewater. Parking is available across the street in lot 7. Lot 7 is also known as the Starin Road lot and contains the Visitor Information and Parking Services building.

On Wednesdays before 6 p.m., stop at the visitor center and request a free parking pass for the tax clinic. Parking permits are not required on Saturdays. Clinic visitors should park in non-metered parking spaces.

The VITA clinic is staffed by certified student preparers and supervised by faculty in the College of Business and Economics Department of Accounting. In addition to providing hands-on experience for graduate and undergraduate accounting students, the free VITA clinic helps residents of Whitewater and surrounding communities.

“We have many long-time clients who return for assistance each spring,” said Robert Meyers, accounting department lecturer and VITA program director. “The opportunity to apply training while working with real people is also an invaluable experience for our students.”

Important information, including links to a location map, program limitations and required supporting documentation, can be found below.

VITA Clinic | Campus Map >>
2020 VITA Clinic Schedule >>
2020 Program Details and Required Information >>

Important notes

  • It is important that you bring photo IDs and valid Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification cards for the taxpayer, spouse and all dependents.
  • Both spouses must be present to sign forms if filing electronically.
  • If you do not have a social security number (SSN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for yourself, a joint filer or a dependent, you must apply for one. For a social security number, complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application and submit the form to the Social Security Administration Office. See http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf  for form or see  https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp to find an office location. For an ITIN, see  https://www.irs.gov/individuals/general-itin-information

VITA clinic staff cannot prepare all types and complexities of tax returns. If taxpayers wish to discuss their taxes before coming to campus, they may call 262-472-1229. Examples of some of the income, deduction and credits that the UW-Whitewater VITA program can accommodate include:

Income

  • Wage (W2) and non-employee compensation (1099)
  • Limited business taxes for small businesses with positive net income and no depreciation
  • Interest and dividend income
  • Stock and mutual fund sales
  • Pension and IRA income
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Social Security benefit income

Deductions

  • Standard deduction
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Itemized deductions (e.g., real estate taxes, home mortgage interest, charitable donations, etc.)

Credits

  • Earned income credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Education credits

Please review the full list of supporting documents that taxpayers should bring to VITA. If you have further questions, you may email the VITA Site Coordinator at  vita@uww.edu or leave a message at 262-472-5449.