CAP Services seeks volunteers for tax program
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 2012, CAP Services has provided free tax preparation to low-income families in Portage 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 Erin Olson, CAP’s innovation and engagement 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 2017 filing season, volunteers helped 293 households in Portage County secure more than $470,000 in income tax refunds. With an average cost of $160 per paid tax return, these volunteers also saved families more than $46,000 in fees in 2017.
CAP anticipates an increased demand for its services in 2018 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 Olson.
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 Mid-State Technical College in Stevens Point. If you are interested in volunteering, visit the CAP Services website at capservices.org/vita, or contact Erin Olson at [email protected] or 715-343-7165.
CAP Services, Inc. is a private, nonprofit community action agency that has been advancing social and economic justice for people and communities in Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, Waupaca and Waushara counties since 1966.