Continuing a popular service from the last several years, FISH will again host the United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program which offers free tax preparation assistance.  Residents who earn a household income of $66,000 or less can have their federal tax returns prepared, e-filed and direct deposited for FREE by United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

United Way IRS-certified volunteers who are passionate about taxes will prepare your return and determine if you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credits, Childcare Credits and/or Education Credits when you file.

VITA prepares simple returns.  They cannot prepare returns that have rental income; or self-employment income at a loss, with expenses that exceed $35,000, or with employees. Please call to see if you qualify.

Beginning Fri., Feb. 2 and continuing every other Friday through Apr. 12, VITA will offer tax preparation service at Sanibel Public Library, 770 Dunlop Road, from 10:00a-2:00p. Appointments are required and can be made by scheduling online at Interested individuals may also dial 2-1-1 or call 239-433-3900 to schedule an appointment.


Those wishing to have their tax return completed through the VITA Program must bring the following documentation, if applicable.  Tax returns cannot be completed without all of the items listed below:


  • Picture ID for individual and spouse.
  • Original Social Security/Medicare card for all persons to be listed on tax return or an ITIN card for those without Social Security card.
  • Birth dates of all persons listed on tax return.
  • All wage and earnings statements, for example: W-2 Form, Social Security Income (SSI), Pensions, Annuities, Unemployment Compensation, etc. and any interest and dividend statements (any Form 1099s).
  • Copy of last year’s federal and state tax returns (if available).
  • Documentation supporting a claim to a dependent exemption due to dependents receiving support from multiple taxpayers (divorced or separated parents), for example: Form 8332, Form 2120, or other valid documentation.
  • Child care provider’s Name, Federal ID or Social Security Number, and address. Also, provide the amount paid for child care.
  • Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements


Additionally, if residents paid real estate tax on their home, bring the paid receipt. This is deductible even if taking the standard deduction. For those itemizing deductions, please bring a summary listing of deductions and supporting details/receipts. For those taking college courses to further education for a job, and you paid the tuition, please bring the tuition receipt and any financial aid or student loan statements.

To have refunds deposited into a checking or savings account, bring account details (a check assigned to the specific account). To learn more about the VITA program, please contact Erika Broyles at FISH, 239-472-4775.

FISH OF SANCAP is Sanibel and Captiva Islands complete wrap around social service organization serving those that live on, work on or visit the islands. FISH’s target population is anyone who lives or works on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. FISH continues to grow to meet the demands of the community, offering programs ranging from long-term disaster recovery and emergency financial assistance to a food pantry; educational workshops, senior programs and more. If you or someone you know is in need of service, please contact FISH at (239) 472-4775.


To learn more about FISH, please visit their website and social media pages to see firsthand how the agency works to better the community and particularly their response to the Ian disaster. To learn more about other services of FISH, please contact Maria Espinoza, Executive Director, at (239) 472-4775.