UWM accounting students partner with Journey House to help with taxes

A team of UWM accounting students is partnering with Journey House to offer free help with taxes to local low-income individuals and families.

This tax season, students, through Beta Alpha Psi Eta Theta Chapter, are volunteering Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Journey House, 2110 W. Scott St., on Saturdays to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers with uncomplicated returns. Upcoming dates are: Feb. 29, March 7, March 28 and April 4.

Students participating receive course credit in Tax 1, Tax 2 and Audit 409, according to Veena L. Brown, associate professor of accounting, who is the faculty advisor to the Eta Theta Chapter at UWM. Approximately 28 UWM students took the training and signed up to volunteer. To date, the feedback from student volunteers and Journey House has been positive. The chapter hopes to continue this partnership with Journey annually, Brown said.

The tax assistance is offered through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, which provides online training. In addition to the days when UWM students are volunteering, tax assistance is available at Journey House on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as Saturdays. The location also offers a valet service where residents can drop off tax documents and pick up completed returns.

The Journey House location serves many Spanish, Hmong  and elderly residents in the neighborhood, according to Ricardo Galaviz, VITA site coordinator. Even residents who don’t owe taxes may need help in applying for Wisconsin Homestead credit, he added.

The social service organization is providing lunch and transportation from the Lubar School of Business for student volunteers. “This is our first time with this kind of partnership with UWM,” he says.

Those interested are requested to make an appointment through the VITA link on the Journey House website. More information on days, times and services offered is available at that link.

For more details, contact Ricardo Galaviz at rgalaviz@journeyhouse.org, 414-647-0548.

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