If you are looking for a way to become actively involved in your community, the IRS wants you to know that you would be welcome to join their ranks as a volunteer.
The IRS is seeking volunteers to staff and support outreach branches of the Service designed to assist taxpayers in preparing and filing tax returns.
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs both offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Both programs are run under IRS oversight, and are largely made up of volunteer personnel.
VITA assistance is generally available to taxpayers who fall into a lower income bracket. Individuals who earn $50K and less can receive assistance at local VITA sites not only with the preparation of returns, but with general tax return issues.
The focus of these sites is with programs specifically designed to educate and assist individuals with government credits they may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. VITA sites are set up in common community locations such as shopping malls, schools and libraries.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly is also available to taxpayers who are 60 years of age or older. Many of our elderly taxpayers are not aware that their filing requirements do not cease with age; filing is dependent on income, not a certain age. Others need assistance determining what portion of their Social Security may be taxable if they have other income sources. Other situations unique to seniors, such as investments, retirement questions and pension concerns, are the focus of such sites.
No previous experience is needed to join the ranks of IRS volunteers. Various positions are available at VITA and TCE sites – Greeters, tax preparers, account specialists and reviewers all round out each site.
All of the information you will need to know is in house and the IRS will train you to be proficient at your position. Basic tax law and training on how to prepare and electronically file returns will be part of your curriculum.
Best of all, each site provides a flexible schedule built around the hours you can volunteer. On average, most individuals volunteer about three to five hours per week of their time.
According to the IRS, last year more than 88,000 volunteers answered the call and made a difference by preparing more than 3 million tax returns for free at thousands of sites nationwide. Anyone can volunteer. It can be an exciting, educational and enjoyable experience. Think about becoming a volunteer and see what a difference it makes in your life as well as others.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, prepare and submit Form 14310, VITA/TCE Volunteer Sign Up to firstname.lastname@example.org. This form can only be sent via email.