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Wisconsin revenue dept. thanks CUs for free tax prep
MADISON, Wis. (7/23/08)--The Wisconsin Department of Revenue thanked Wisconsin credit unions at a meeting July 18 for participating in the state’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance program.
Brett Thompson (left), president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, discussed the future of the state’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance program last week with Roger Ervin, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. (Photo provided by the Wisconsin Credit Union League)
Roger Ervin, state revenue secretary, stressed the importance of the program, which is geared to preventing low-income tax filers from becoming victimized by predatory “refund anticipation loans.” The program offers free tax preparation assistance, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League website. More Wisconsin credit unions need to get involved to help expand the program and to promote more electronic tax filings in the next tax season, Ervin added. Credit unions wanting to get involved in the program can make use of grants made available by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The grants are a component of an $8 million, one-year initiative created to extend the program, not only to the underserved population, but also to hard-to-reach areas--both urban and rural. This year, 60,190 people filed tax returns at 231 free tax preparation sites in Wisconsin. The sites were operated in conjunction with the IRS, Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the AARP. With the average cost of fees paid to a tax preparer offering refund anticipation loans at $276, Wisconsin filers saved about of $16.5 million through the free tax preparation assistance, the league said.
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