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Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program

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 wealth-building.



Benefits of participationRestricted
Credit unions, volunteers and tax filers all benefit from involvement in a Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program site.


How to participateRestricted
What credit unions should do to work with Free Tax Prep Assistance sites



Participating credit unions
See which Wisconsin credit unions are partnering with volunteer return preparation sites


www.myfreetaxrefund.com
A website that teaches consumers how to receive a fast, free tax refund through the use of direct deposit and electronic filing.



Free Tax Preparation Credit Union Resource KitRestricted
Free Tax Prep resources and kit materials for credit unions