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Waubonsee VITA Program Offers Free Tax Help

Volunteers with Waubonsee Community College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will offer free tax help again this season in downtown Aurora.

Beginning Jan. 21, a team of volunteers associated with Waubonsee will again partner with the Center for Economic Progress to sponsor the free income tax return preparation assistance sessions for eligible members of the community.

The sessions will take place from Jan. 21 - April 15 on Wednesdays from 5:30-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Waubonsee's Aurora Downtown Campus, 18 S. River Street. The site will be closed during spring break on March 15 and 18.

At these sessions, volunteers from Waubonsee and the Center for Economic Progress will help prepare and electronically file income tax returns, including those requiring the 1040 Schedule C used by small businesses and the self-employed.

Those eligible for the program include families with annual incomes less than $50,000, and individuals with annual incomes less than $25,000. Those seeking assistance should bring a copy of last year's tax return, if they have one; Forms W-2 and 1099 from all employment in 2016; Social Security cards for all family members; bank account and routing number to direct deposit the refund; property tax bill; amount spent on college expenses; proof of health insurance coverage; and a photo ID.

The free income tax return preparation is done on a first-come, first-served basis, and the site closes when capacity is reached. Organizers advise that for shorter wait times, plan to visit in March. Clients should allow about two hours or more for tax preparation.

The program was launched locally in 2005 by Waubonsee accounting faculty members. Since then, the work of 548 volunteers has resulted in more than $14 million returned to the community, and the program has served more than 7,000 clients, who have filed a total of 14,276 federal and state returns.

Last season, the program served more than 900 low-to moderate-income families and individuals, bringing $1.8 million in income tax refunds back to the local economy. 

For more information, contact Waubonsee Community College at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2992; email VITA@waubonsee.edu; or visit the Center for Economic Progress website at www.economicprogress.org.