Free tax assistance programs help filers with significant tax law changes
For the City Times
STEVENS POINT — With tax season just around the corner, local organizations and volunteers are once again gearing up to offer free tax assistance to Portage County senior citizens, and low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in December 2017, resulting in many significant changes for the 2018 tax year.
“Taxpayers may be wondering how decreased payroll withholdings, increased standard deduction amounts, elimination of personal exemptions and changes to the Child Tax Credit will impact them,” said Erin Olson, CAP’s Innovation and Engagement Coordinator. “We’re here to help, and we’re dedicated to helping as many community members as possible.”
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a joint effort of Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) and CAP Services, offers free tax filing help to people with annual incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. The AARP Tax Aide Program, a joint effort of the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Lincoln Center, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Portage County Public Library offers free tax preparation services targeted at senior citizens and adults with disabilities.
“We make sure our customers get high-quality, professional service by trained volunteers who are equipped to identify tax credit and refund opportunities,” said Olson. “Our focus remains on helping clients claim all tax credits for which they’re eligible, which means more money in the pockets of families who need it, both in terms of savings and the refunds they receive.”
People can call United Way’s 2-1-1 to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment to have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free. Households that make less than $66,000 may also choose to file online for free at MyFreeTaxes.com,