Connie Henn, Redgranite, received the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) 2018 Exceptional Community Action Staff Member Award during the organization’s annual meeting Wednesday, May 2nd, in Madison.
WISCAP, the state’s community action trade association, recognized Henn for her work with CAP Services’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) in Waushara County. VITA helps individuals and families maximize their tax returns.
“Connie does a tremendous job of encouraging taxpayers to save their tax return, and empowers her volunteers to do the same,” said Erin Olson, Henn’s supervisor.
Last year, when Henn discovered limitations in the IRS software that discouraged saving among CAP Services’ clients, she took the initiative to change that. After many calls and emails, she reached out to the Prosperity Now Taxpayer Opportunity Network, who were able to elevate the issue to their national IRS partner. As a result of Henn’s persistence and advocacy, the software company deployed an update providing the necessary options for tax filers to split their refunds in a variety of ways.
“Connie’s perseverance on this matter not only benefitted CAP Services’ VITA program, but VITA programs and taxpayers across the nation,” said Olson. “For Connie, it was never about the magnitude of her impact – it was about doing right by our taxpayers, which she does each and every day at the Waushara County VITA site. Connie is a tremendous asset to CAP Services and to all community action agencies.”
This past tax season in Waushara County, 17 VITA volunteers assisted 222 households through in-person appointments. An additional 44 households accessed free filing through MyFreeTaxes.com. Total state and federal refunds were $323,892 and filers saved an estimated $52,170 in preparation fees.