Waubonsee providing free income tax return preparation sessions

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Once again, Waubonsee Community College and a team of volunteers will be helping low and moderate income residents with their income tax returns.

The free sessions started Jan. 29 and will continue through April 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at WCC’s downtown Aurora campus, 18 S. River St.

The site will be closed during spring break March 19 and March 22.

This is the sixth year that certified public account George Sterling, who also is an adjunct instructor at WCC’s Sugar Grove and Aurora campuses, will be providing assistance.

He and his wife, Therese, manage the WCC Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site.

Sterling said he enjoys helping other people.

WCC partners with the Center for Economic Progress to sponsor the assistance sessions for eligible members of the community.

Those eligible for the program include families with annual incomes of $50,000 or less, and individuals with annual incomes of less than $25,000.

“Last year, a woman we helped had a real nice refund check coming,” Sterling said. “She was crying and said, ‘You just saved my house.’ It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Sterling and a team of 75 volunteers provide the tax preparation assistance.

Last year, they helped almost 800 people with their taxes and look to help the same number this year.

“We actually have a few volunteers who started out as clients,” Sterling said. “They saw the benefits and are now in a position to help others.”

He noted that a majority of people they are helping are living “not even paycheck to paycheck.”

“We are saving them tax preparation fees and some of those predatory tax anticipation loans,” Sterling said.

They also help set up a bank account for those clients who don’t already have one so their refund check can be safely deposited into their account.

Those seeking tax return preparation assistance at
the VITA sessions should bring a copy of last year’s tax return, if they have one; W-2 and 1099 forms from all employment in 2013; Social Security cards for all family members; and photo identification.

The free income tax return preparation is done on a first-come, first-serve basis and the site closes when capacity is reached.

Know more

For information about Waubonsee Community College’s free income tax return preparation sessions, call 630-466-7900 or go to www.economicprogress.org.