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Volunteers help families claim refunds

A free tax preparation service for low- and moderate-income tax filers in Waupaca County is running well ahead of last year’s totals for people served and is putting substantial refund dollars in the hands of its clients.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offered by CAP Services and supported by a $5,000 grant from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation has assisted 160 households with their income tax returns, with two weeks still remaining before the filing deadline. Last year’s full-season total was fewer than 100 households. The WACF grant money helped to pay for supplies, treats for volunteers and support staff.

The families being served have claimed nearly $200,000 in refunds, thanks to the tax papers prepared by the volunteers.

There is no typical client, according to Erin Olson, Innovation and Engagement Coordinator for CAP Services in Waupaca County. The people seeking tax help include older people, single parents, families and young singles, she said.

Many of the volunteer tax preparers are retired accounting professionals or accounting students, Olson said, but all are certified by the IRS to do the work.

Appointments are still available for this weekend and next week. Potential clients can find out if they qualify and book an appointment by calling 800-660-5430.

The tax prep program is also recommending people consider taking part in the “Save Your Refund” program. Anyone at least age 18 with $50 or more coming to them as a refund can request to split the return, with half sent to them and half put into a bank account, and qualify for a drawing to win a $100 prize. Information is available at

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