CLEVELAND (NBC26) — So far this tax season, 21 Lakeshore Technical College students have helped community members fill out more than 130 federal and state tax returns.
“We just are happy that we can serve our community in this way," said Douglas Hamm, Dean of Business, Technology and Hospitality for LTC. “They’re applying it to a real world application. We can’t really teach that well in a classroom, so this interaction with the community is critical to their ability to go out and serve the public beyond graduation.“
LTC has offered its voluntary income tax assistance since 2005. This year, their VITA program is one of only a few sites in all of Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties offering free, in-person tax help.
“Those community members that we serve, they’ve come to rely on our vita program," said Hamm.
The VITA program is used by people who make under a certain income, seniors, people with disabilities or those who have challenge with the English language.
“Every return is quality-checked to make sure that when we do submit it to the IRS, that it's accurate, that they’re going to get the maximum return they can get.“
This year, all of their slots for the VITA program filled halfway through January.
“Federal and state taxes aren’t necessarily the easiest thing to complete on your own," said Paul Carlson, President of LTC.
Although they wish they could reach everyone who needs tax help, it’s good that community members are utilizing this service and getting the returns they need, said Carlson.
“That’s money that’s being invested back in our community," he said. "That our citizens and our partners need right now more than ever.“
Although LTC has filled up their slots for their vita program, if you're looking for help with taxes, you can give your local tech college, like LTC, a call, and they can answer your questions or help you find someone to assist.