GREEN BAY, Wis. — The average price to prepare a standard federal and state tax return can cost up to $290, according to the National Society of Accountants.

The tax deadline is April 15, and many Wisconsinites still haven’t filed their return. An IRS tax program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) is helping some people with the cost of preparing their return.

What You Need To Know

  • The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling has sites across Wisconsin

  • Last year, nearly 500 people benefited from the VITA program

  • Students preparing tax returns are required to have taken tax classes to become IRS-certified

Theresa Grover is an accounting instructor at NWTC with 30 years of experience. Grover said teaching tax terms was not the career she originally planned.

“I started off in a programming analyst degree and in order to get that degree, you had to take accounting, and I just absolutely loved accounting,” Grover said.

Grover said her passion now is making sure everyone can properly report their tax information. She supervises the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on NWTC’s campus. This is a student-led program that provides help for people to get their taxes filed for free.

“It is an IRS program. Anyone who makes less than $70,000 as household income can qualify. It’s mainly for the low-income and the elderly,” Grover said.

Madeline Evrard is an accounting student. She said an important part of her duty in preparing tax returns is making people aware of tax credits they qualify for. 

“I’ve had quite a few people come through, and they’re really grateful and excited for the refunds that are coming. Just knowing that you’re helping someone who’s less fortunate is really a good feeling,” Evrard said.

Students preparing tax returns are required to have taken tax classes to become IRS-certified. Grover said before a student-prepared tax return is filed electronically, a supervisory quality check is required. 

“Every tax return a student does is looked over by myself or another quality reviewer,” Grover said.

Last year, nearly 500 people benefited from the VITA program. It’s estimated that it resulted in more than $100,000 in savings for those people. Grover said this service is a win for her students and the community at large.