Dane County Executive Joe Parisi on Feb. 11 visited The Richard Dilley Tax Center to highlight the free tax preparation help now available through the UW Extension.
The free tax assistance service is a function of Dane County’s UW Extension office, made possible in part by county government.
The site exists as a place for Dane County residents to clear up any confusion they may have as they prepare to file their taxes, and specifically seeks to serve low-income individuals and families, seniors, and/or people with disabilities.
This year, the site has moved to 2206 S. Park St., located at the far right entrance of the Villager Shopping Center.
“For many, filing tax returns can be confusing and can leave people wondering where they can turn for help,” Parisi said. “Through our efforts at the Richard Dilley Tax Center, we aim to help Dane County residents navigate the process and make sure they don’t miss out on a potential refund.”
During the 2018 tax year, 3,179 people had their taxes prepared free of charge through the Dane County UW Extension Financial Education Center, yielding over $4 million in refunds to taxpayers, $1.5 million of which was in earned income credit. The program utilized 144 volunteers in the roles of greeters and tax preparers.
Dane County UW Extension has run the Financial Education Center since 2005 and is a primary partner for the free tax service. Other partners include the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, City of Madison, IRS, and Covering Wisconsin.
Additional asset building services include pre-screening families for FoodShare and other state benefits, budget and credit counseling, and assistance with questions regarding the Affordable Care Act and resources for health insurance enrollment.
In 2017, Dane County launched a new effort to make sure those living in poverty were aware of all available tax benefits for those with lower incomes. Dane County’s Department for Equity and Inclusion, the Human Services Department, and the UW-Extension teamed up to reach out to targeted neighborhoods to try to increase the amount of taxes filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Homestead Tax Credit.
The Richard Dilley Tax Center walk-in site is open Mondays and Wednesdays from noon until 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. through April 15.
For more information about tax filing at the site or to volunteer, call 608-283-1261.