FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND, WI –
RJ Skrepenski, manager of the Neighborhood Network Learning Center at the Southfield Townhouses on South 21st Street in Manitowoc, took note when LTC's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services came to Manitowoc two years ago. The program, which offers free tax preparation and free state and federal filing for households with income up to $53,000 was held at the Lakeshore Technical College campus on Dewey Street.
"My first thought was I've got a built in audience of over 100 families on premise who are eligible for VITA services from LTC", says Skrepenski. "We also have the necessary facility with the technology to support the preparation and filing all in one location. Why not bring the program here?"
The VITA program, which is run under the oversight of the IRS and features LTC students in the Accounting program, enjoyed years of success in Sheboygan and Cleveland before expanding to Manitowoc in 2013 for the 2012 tax season. Last year, taxpayers who had their taxes prepared through the LTC VITA sites received more than $404,000 in federal income tax refunds, and an additional $177,500 in state refunds.
"According to the IRS, the refunds through the program benefit the local economy directly as most refunds are quickly spent on goods and services in the immediate area," says LTC VITA Coordinator Deborah Ryan. "Tax credits, such as the Earned Income Credit which can be in excess of $6,000 depending on family circumstances, are missed many times because filers don't realize they are eligible."
Skrepenski agrees. "Many of our residents are likely eligible for these tax credits but may not be aware. Sometimes, they may not file a return at all and miss out on funds that are due them."
About Lakeshore Technical College
Each year more than 11,000 people enroll in courses at Lakeshore Technical College. They rely on LTC for job preparation, to earn a degree, upgrade a specialized skill, train as an apprentice, or seek a high school equivalency. LTC faculty and staff meet students where they are in life and help them get one step closer to achieving their goals.
Close to 1,000 students graduate from LTC each year, and LTC’s associate degree graduates earn an average starting salary of $45,000 per year. In addition to the Cleveland campus, LTC serves students in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, and offers classes at four sites throughout the district. Visit LTC at gotoltc.edu.