HomeAsian AmericansBilingual tax aid offered in Wisconsin to support Hmong Americans

Bilingual tax aid offered in Wisconsin to support Hmong Americans

With the April 15 tax deadline approaching, the Hmong American Center offers bilingual assistance through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the cities of Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 

There are an estimated 9,000 Hmong people living in central Wisconsin, the Hmong American Center reported, making these services to break down language barriers vital in assisting people in the Hmong community. 

“They’re more comfortable because we speak the language,” said Nasiah Herr, Hmong American Center VITA Grant and Impact Manager, to WOAW. “It makes it a lot easier to communicate and we can quickly look through all their documents and say ‘Hey. You’re missing this and this and this’ and it gets the job done so much faster than having to go through a translator.”

The VITA sites offer free tax assistance to anyone who wants support with their tax returns, but priority will be given to people with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers, Northcentral Technical College reported. 

The site at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wisconsin, opened two years ago but chose not to operate last year due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to WOAW.

This year, the sites at both Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids will be offering their services.

Yee Leng Xiong, the executive director of the Hmong American Center, said in a statement that while Hmong demographics have adjusted to where the number of U.S.-born people surpassed the number of foreign-born Hmong, there remains a need for translation services in the Hmong community. 

“The Hmong American Center, Inc. was successful in helping many of the Southeast Asian refugees, transition from renters, to becoming owners of their own destiny,” said Xiong in a statement. “We are proud of the strives that the Southeast Asian community has accomplished … The Hmong American Center Inc. is now more determined than ever to create a strong Hmong American Community through service, education and collaboration.”

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