Planning for the upcoming income tax filing season is underway and CAP Services is seeking volunteers to prepare tax returns and provide customer support. Since 2009, CAP Services has provided free tax preparation to low-income families in Waushara County through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
“The program provides volunteers with a short-term opportunity to make a large-scale impact,” said Connie Henn, CAP’s lead tax assistance coordinator. “For households whose resources are already stretched, our free tax services provide a stepping stone from getting by to getting ahead, helping families keep and save more of their hard-earned money.”
During the 2018 filing season, volunteers helped 230 households in Waushara County secure nearly $275,000 in federal and state income tax refunds.
CAP anticipates an increased demand for services in 2019 and will need additional volunteers to meet the need. Individuals can get involved through a weekly commitment to conduct intake activities or prepare taxes, or through an occasional – once or twice a month – commitment to offer interpretation services.
No previous experience is needed. CAP will provide in-person and online training free of charge to all interested volunteers beginning mid-December. The tax site operates from late January to mid-April.
“You don’t need to be a tax expert to volunteer with us – there’s a place for everyone. Each volunteer role provides the opportunity to build new experiences and relationships, making the tax site a great place to make a difference this winter,” said Henn.
Additionally, volunteers can access CAP’s tax filing software to prepare their own returns as well as returns for friends and family, free of charge.
CAP will offer free tax preparation services at the CAPsell Center in Wautoma. The site was selected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for participation in its Tax Time Saving pilot project this year, which means volunteers will have access to additional tools, resources, and training to increase the number of tax customers who save at least a portion of their refunds. Additionally, CFPB will learn from volunteers how consumers think about and plan for saving at tax time so that learning can be shared more broadly with the tax preparation field.
If you are interested in volunteering, visit the CAP Services website at capservices.org/vita, or contact Connie Henn at email@example.com or 920-647-0978.