Home CAPSAW receives grant to provide free tax preparation services

CAPSAW receives grant to provide free tax preparation services


Anna Leavitt, coordinator of the Community Action Partnership of Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro (CAPSAW) announced an expansion of their free tax preparation services.

tax-newThis expansion was made possible by a grant from the Virginia Community Action Partnership’s Virginia Cash Campaign.   The VACAP grant will help fund the expansion of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through which trained volunteers provide FREE tax preparation services to qualified area residents.  Partners in this program include Mary Bladwin College, the Staunton Creative Community Fund, the United Way of Greater Augusta, Augusta County Schools and Staunton Parks and Recreation.

CAPSAW’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA program began providing services in 2011.  Over the past three tax season Volunteers filed over 400 federal and state returns resulting in refunds valued at over $680,000.  Deb Koons, EITC Coordinator for capsaw explained that training materials are provided by the IRS and volunteers were able to be certified and have provided free services to over 190 residents.  “Some of our clients literally could not believe the service was free.  Our volunteers have saved tax payers over $89,000 in preparation fees – money that was likely spent in our community.

Highlights from the 2012 tax season include:

  • 250+ federal and state returns filed with clients obtaining more than $400,000 in refunds to supplement their annual wages;
  • Average refund of $1,360 for families with an average annual income of just $17,200.

Leavitt and Koons say that eligibility requirements have expanded to include families making less than $51,000 a year. “We hope that our community will recognize the value of this service.   Why pay anything when we can provide the same quality work for free?” asked Koons.  This year clients will be able to take advantage of expanded economic stability programming including one on one consultations with trained Economic Education Volunteers and classes provided through the year making this an improved choice for area consumers.  Individual Development Accounts, a matched savings program, will be offered through the Staunton Creative Community Fund as well.

Volunteers are currently being recruited with IRS certified training scheduled to begin in December.  Please contact capsaw at [email protected]for more information or by calling 540-221-1654.



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