Contactless free tax preparation is offered in Waukesha for those who qualify

Posted at 7:01 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 08:01:58-05

WAUKESHA — The IRS won't start processing your 2020 tax returns until Feb.12, but that doesn't mean you should procrastinate.

If you're worried about having face-to-face interactions during COVID-19, Waukesha nonprofit, La Casa de Esperanza is mastering contactless tax prep.

This year, La Casa de Esperanza expanded its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program or VITA. All of the services are free if you qualify and they're COVID-19 friendly.

Here are all of the options for taxpayers:

*In-person appointment (temperature check, mask is required and health questions)
*In-person drop-off appointment (temperature check, mask is required and health questions)
*Drive-through appointment (they can stay in their vehicle while we prepare their tax return)
*Drive-through drop-off appointment (we set up two appointments for this method, 1 for drop off and 1 for review, sign and pick up)
*100% virtual (in addition to current volunteers we are also partnered with MATC students who are volunteering to help us with virtual)

The services started in late January.

"You've been doing this for a week so far. What's the demand been like?" TMJ4 News' Kristin Byrne asked.

"It's huge. The demand is incredible because many of the other VITA sites have either closed or they're not offering the in-person taxes," said Gina Sanchez Juarez, the Director for La Casa's Center for Financial Stability.

Sanchez Juarez says so far close to six hundred taxpayers have scheduled appointments with La Casa -- dozens have already received help at the two Waukesha locations (in-person location is 202 E. Broadway Avenue and drive-thru location is 134 Wisconsin Avenue).

This tax season, the non-profit has added a lot more volunteers.

"MATC is in partnership with us this year for our VITA site which means that we're going to have thirty-tow tax students that are going to be helping us with the virtual," Sanchez Juarez said.

She stressed these students are certified with the IRS to prepare taxes all of the other volunteers involved with VITA.

"At our site, we require them to be advanced certified so they know all the tax laws and everything," she said.

To see if you qualify for the VITA program, call 262-832-1534.

To schedule an appointment, click here.

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