CAP Services’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers include, from left, Yishen Yu, Zackery Hintz, Elizabeth Kaminski, Yingying Fu, Liane Schroeder, Melinda Kroening, Edison Kispert, Conner Dougherty, Jessica Wagner, Aaron Swanson, Winndie Darrow, Nathan Wetzel, Kely Rodriguez, John Gardner, Siyo Young, Caleb Olson, Edward Zyhowski and Thomas Matuka.

Volunteers from CAP Services’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program help Portage County residents obtain tax credits and refunds that help make ends meet. In the first month of the tax filing season, these volunteers helped families secure nearly $300,000 in federal and state tax refunds.

“Our volunteers are an amazing, dedicated group,” said Erin Olson of CAP Services. “Their work helps individual, families and the local economy by ensuring low-income residents receive their full tax refund without having to pay filing and preparation fees.”
Free tax preparation services are still available. Individuals and families with annual income below 200% of the federal poverty level qualify for in-person appointments. To check eligibility and to schedule an appointment, call United Way’s 2-1-1 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For households above that income limit, or those who would prefer to file for themselves, provides an excellent alternative. Federal and state filing is available for free to those with income up to $66,000. Sponsored by United Way, this website provides an easy-to-use interview format for completing the tax return and includes technical assistance by phone, web-based chat, and email. is accessible 24 hours per day.

VITA helps individuals and families maximize their tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation and inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, such as the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Credit (EIC), and Wisconsin’s Homestead Credit.