Where to find free tax filing help in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Where to find free tax filing help in Eau Claire

 Eau Claire (WQOW)- Free tax filing help is being offered at a number of locations in the Eau Claire area. See the news releases below for specifics. 

Free Tax Preparation Service Available at RCU, Western Dairyland and in the city of Altoona 

(News Release from RCU) Eau Claire, WI –– Royal Credit Union is once again assisting the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program by offering free office space. This unique service will be available from February 2 until April 8. The RCU Shopko South Office, 1049 W. Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, will offer the service on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00am to 1:30pm. VITA is also offered at Western Dairyland, 418 Wisconsin Street, Eau Claire, on Mondays from 3:00-6:30pm and City of Altoona-Community Room, 1303 Lynn Avenue, Altoona, on Wednesdays from 3:00-6:30pm. Service at all locations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The service is not available March 23-27.

VITA was created to provide free income tax return assistance to taxpayers who cannot afford to pay for professional help. VITA provides free tax assistance to handicapped, non-English speaking, elderly, and special needs taxpayers. In order to be eligible, taxpayers must have an adjusted gross annual income of $53,000 or less. Volunteers are University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire accounting students trained by the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

VITA offers assistance in completing basic tax forms (1040EZ, 1040A, and 1040). Taxpayers with complicated returns or questions will be referred to an IRS publication, to the IRS, or to seek private professional assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis by the VITA volunteer and is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. If you decide to take advantage of this unique service, please bring photo ID, Social Security cards for taxpayer and all dependents, earnings statements, a copy of your tax return from last year, forms 1095(A, B or C) affordable health care statements, child care provider information, rent certificates from landlord or property tax statement, financial institution's routing and account numbers for direct deposit.

RCU is among a number of credit unions in Wisconsin who are taking the initiative to help build financially strong, self-supporting families and communities by offering innovative services like VITA.

Royal Credit Union is a federally insured credit union serving over 150,000 Members with 26 full service offices. Wisconsin offices are located in Amery, Balsam Lake, Chippewa Falls, Colby, Eau Claire, Hudson, Menomonie, Milltown, New Richmond, Osceola, Rice Lake, River Falls, St. Croix Falls, Somerset, Star Prairie, and Whitehall. RCU Minnesota offices are located in Edina, Coon Rapids, and St. Paul. You can open an account or apply for a low-cost loan at RCU if you live or work in 18 counties in Western Wisconsin, 12 counties in the Twin Cities Metro in Minnesota, or are a Realtor in Wisconsin or Minnesota. Visit rcu.org or call RCU at 1-800-341-9911 for more information.

Free Tax Preparation Service Available at CVTC

(News Release from CVTC) Eau Claire, WI – People who cannot afford professional income tax preparation can get free assistance at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

On Thursdays Feb. 5 through April 9, student volunteers certified by the IRS and working under the supervision of a CVTC Accounting instructor will provide free income tax preparation in room 240 of the Business Education Center, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire. The service is provided on a first-come-first-served basis, with sign-up beginning at noon and tax preparation from 1-4:30 p.m. each day. The service will not be available March 12 during spring break.

Please bring the following items to have your return prepared:

• Photo ID

• Social Security cards for taxpayer and all dependents

• Earnings statements (W-2, W-2G or 1099-R) including interest and dividend statements

• Copy of last year's tax returns

• Child care provider information and amount paid

· Birthdates, including spouse and dependents

• Rent certificates from landlord or property tax statement

• Financial institution's routing and account numbers for direct deposit

Returns cannot be prepared for those with complicated returns as identified by the IRS, such as rental or business income that cannot be reported on a Schedule C-EZ.

“All of the students have to go through IRS training and certification process, and everything is also reviewed by myself or others with tax preparation experience,” said Jason Szymanski, CVTC Accounting instructor and program supervisor.

Szymanski added that an income of $53,000 or less is what the IRS likes to see for people using the VITA service.

“This helps the community, because the tax code is complicated,” Szymanski said. “And it's great experience for the students to work with a real client. It takes the concepts they learned in the classroom and applies them to real life.”

Last year, CVTC served approximately 250 taxpayers through the VITA service.

Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the larger community. Campuses are located in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Neillsville and River Falls. CVTC serves an 11-county area in west central Wisconsin. CVTC is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state.

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