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CWC providing free tax help to county residents
Resident Reatha Smith, left, got help with her taxes from Central Wyoming College accounting graduate Brenda Graves last month on the Riverton campus. Smith's daughter Mona Anderson waited behind them. Photo by Katie Roenigk

CWC providing free tax help to county residents

Mar 21, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Assistance available once more before April 15 deadline.

With taxes due in a couple of weeks, many residents have been making appointments to get free tax help from volunteers at Central Wyoming College.

CWC has offered the service for several years, generating a base of repeat customers who have come to rely on the guidance of former and current CWC accounting and income tax students.

"I've been happy with them," resident Nancy Mauch said as she waited for her turn. "So far I've had good luck. ... They do a good job."

Mauch has been taking advantage of the free help for four or five years, ever since she became responsible for filing her own taxes.

"I prefer someone else to do them," Mauch said.

Kathy Gordon, another customer, likes having another person check over her work. She filled out her tax forms already, but Gordon said she wants to make sure she didn't make any mistakes.

"I just want them to check it, to reaffirm that I did it right," she said. "I think I got it right, but I'm too unsure of myself."

She went to CWC to "save a nickel or two," as did Therin Soldierwolf.

"I used to pay to have mine prepared," he said. "But I'm unemployed now."

The income limit for free tax help is about $51,000. Taxpayers needing assistance should bring their 2012 tax package, all wage and earning statements (Form W-2), all interest statements (Form 1099), information for all deductions and credits, proof of account for direct deposit or refund (voided check), Social Security cards for dependents or spouses, birth date of all dependents and any other relevant information about income and expenses.

Reatha Smith came prepared with a folder filled with her documents for 2012. She said she trusts Brenda Graves, the CWC career accounting graduate who has been helping her with her taxes for the past five years.

"I know Brenda," Smith said. "She's a very brilliant lady."

Smith said it usually takes about 30 minutes to get her taxes done with Graves.

"And all I have to do is write the check," Smith said.

Graves said not everyone comes back every year for help, especially after she shows them how to do their taxes on their own.

"It's easy to go online and do your taxes," she said. "For 95 percent of people it's free, and the programs out there are so good."

She recommended taxwise.com, or she said people can go to irs.gov and file for free.

"It'll walk you through the whole process," she said, adding that refunds often arrive faster when people file online. "And if you have to pay, it's still not due until April 15."

Graves understands that some people still like to file on paper, though, with a person present to help them.

"We're old school," she said as she greeted Smith. "E-filing is new for a lot of us."

Tax help will be available one more time before April 15. To make an appointment for a time slot between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in room 157 of the Main Hall on the Riverton campus, call Willie Noseep at 855-2149.

In cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, CWC is one of the many Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites around the country. VITA volunteers assist low income, elderly, disabled, and non-English speaking taxpayers with their tax returns.

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