Helping in either the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs can be rewarding while serving a vital role in your local community.
The VITA and TCE programs offer free tax help to people with low-to-moderate income, senior citizens, persons with disability, those who have limited English proficiency and others who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. In the majority of the free tax help sites, taxpayers can get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them. Volunteers are needed in all these sites during the tax filing season.
Don’t know that much about taxes? Don’t worry — you’ll get specialized training or you can choose a volunteer role that doesn’t require tax law certification. The hours are flexible, the training is free and the time commitment is up to you.
Here are some of the volunteer roles needed at free tax preparation sites:
Greeter/Screener – You greet everyone visiting the site to create a pleasant atmosphere. You screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need and confirm they have the necessary documents to complete their tax returns. Tax law certification is not required for this position.
Interpreter – You provide free language interpreter services to customers who are not fluent in English. Basic tax knowledge is helpful, but it is not required for this position.
Site Administrator/Coordinator – You have excellent organizational and leadership skills. You are the primary resource for sharing your knowledge of the program and are available to assist with any issues that may arise. You develop and maintain schedules for all volunteers to ensure adequate coverage, supplies and equipment at your site. Tax law certification is not always required for this position.
Tax Preparer – You complete and successfully certify in tax law training, including the use of electronic filing software, to provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers.
Quality Reviewer – You review tax returns completed by volunteer tax preparers, ensuring that every taxpayer receives top quality service and that the tax returns are error-free. You must be tax law certified at least at the Intermediate level.
Tax Coach – You provide tax law assistance and guide taxpayers in preparing their own tax returns. Tax law certification is required for this volunteer role and training is available on-line or through face-to-face instruction.