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WITC offers free tax help

It's that time of year again -- tax time -- and the VITA program at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is ready for another filing season. A hotline also provides helpful information around the clock: 800-243-9482, ext. 4829, or 4TAX.

VITA, which stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, provides free tax preparation for low income taxpayers and is provided on a walk-in basis, with no appointment necessary.

Tax preparers are available 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on a walk-in basis only on Wednesdays, Feb. 20 through April 9, except Wednesday, March 19 (WITC's spring break).

A Spanish language translator is available by appointment only.

The VITA tax preparers are WITC students and other volunteers who are trained with materials provided by the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

The returns are prepared with state-of-the-art software and electronically filed. Federal and state refunds can be transmitted directly to a taxpayer's bank account, eliminating weeks of waiting time compared to a mailed-in return.

The free tax preparation is available for individual taxpayers whose income was $25,000 or below, or families up to $40,000. Preparers are ready to work on the following types of return: 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040, including schedules A, B, C-EZ, and D (unless complex).

To have taxes prepared free by VITA, bring to the first appointment:

• A picture ID;

• Social Security cards for anyone shown on the return;

• All forms W-2 and 1099;

• Information on any other income;

• Information for all deductions/credits;

• Property tax statement or certificate of rent paid from landlord;

• A deposit slip from the bank for automatic deposit of the refund;

• Anything else that clients think may be needed;

• A copy of last year's return.

Questions about the program may be directed to a toll-free hotline: 800-243-9482, ext 4829, or 4TAX.

WITC New Richmond offers more than 35 programs and awards two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and a variety of short-term certificates.

In addition, WITC offers Flex labs, online and other distance learning opportunities and provides customized training and technical assistance to the business and industrial community. The college has four campuses, including Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake and Superior. The Web site is: