As part of their REAL Solutions
initiative, Wisconsin credit unions are helping tax filers by
opening deposit accounts into which fast, free refunds can be deposited.
This provides a no-cost alternative to costly "rapid refund" services
that can drain around 10% from a low-income person's total expected
tax refund (e.g., $250 lost on a $2,500 refund).
People with low incomes, the disabled, individuals with
limited English proficiency and the elderly – including many
people who have no prior relationship with a financial institution
– are receiving help to file their taxes at volunteer return
preparation sites across the state, for example, at community centers,
libraries and other locations.
Credit union volunteers assist at free tax preparation
sites around the state operated in conjunction with the IRS, AARP and
the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. Credit unions provide volunteers at
sites operating in community centers, libraries or other locations,
while other credit unions bring volunteers in-house to assist with
filing and opening of accounts.
At these sites, trained credit union volunteers help
people complete their tax forms and open deposit accounts to facilitate
a fast, free tax refund. They also impart helpful asset-building
strategies, such as obtaining the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax
benefit for which many low-income filers are eligible, as well as other
tips to help filers improve their financial position over the long term.
For example, a filer can benefit if he or she knows about the lower-cost
services of the credit union at which he or she has established
membership by opening an account.
By signing on to help tax filers, your credit union
joins Wisconsin credit unions’ statewide REAL Solutions
initiative, which steers Wisconsin citizens away from predatory
financial providers, improves their financial knowledge and sets them on
a healthier financial path by encouraging saving and
Benefits of participation
Credit unions, volunteers and tax filers all benefit from involvement in a Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program site.
How to participate
What credit unions should do to work with Free Tax Prep Assistance sites