Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity in your community? Here’s your chance to lend a helping hand. You can learn to prepare taxes and make a difference at the same time by becoming a volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.
You’ll receive quality training to provide free tax help for low-to-moderate-income families who need assistance preparing their tax returns. Every filing season, tax volunteers make an enormous impact in their communities by helping prepare millions of tax returns at thousands of free tax preparation sites nationwide. Last year, over 3.5 million returns were prepared by volunteers, but many more free returns can be completed with your help.
As a tax volunteer, you’ll be put in contact with an organization that sponsors VITA/TCE sites. Once you complete your training, you’ll begin volunteering at a location in your community. Tax sites are generally open various days, nights and weekends. The hours are flexible.
As a volunteer, you’ll get all the specialized training you need, so there is no need to worry if you only have limited knowledge of tax law. You can also choose a volunteer role that doesn’t require tax law certification.
There is something for everyone. Here are some of the volunteer roles needed at free tax preparation sites:
Greeter/Screener — As a greeter/screener, you’ll greet everyone visiting the site. This role is perfect for those who have no interest in preparing tax returns but love socializing and talking to people. You’ll screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need and confirm they brought all the necessary documents to have their tax returns completed. Tax law certification is not required if you are not answering questions about tax law.
Interpreter — As an interpreter, you’ll provide language interpretation services to customers who are not fluent in English. Basic tax knowledge is helpful but not required for this position.
Tax Preparer —As a volunteer tax preparer, you’ll provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers using electronic filing software. Tax law certification is required for this volunteer role.
Quality Reviewer— As a quality reviewer, you will conduct a quality review of all tax returns completed by volunteer tax preparers, ensuring that every taxpayer receives quality service and an accurate tax return. Tax law certification is required for this volunteer role.
Tax Coach — As a tax coach, you‘ll work at a self-preparation site. While working at the site, you’ll provide tax law assistance and help taxpayers navigate web-based, self-preparation software while they prepare their own tax returns. Tax law certification is required for this volunteer role.
Site Coordinator/Administrator — If you have excellent organizational and leadership skills, volunteering as the site coordinator/administrator may be the position that fits you best. The site coordinator acts as the primary resource for sharing knowledge of the program and assists with any issues that may arise. You’ll develop and maintain schedules for all volunteers to ensure adequate coverage. You will also ensure that supplies and equipment at your site are stocked and operational. Tax law certification is not always required for this position.
For additional information and next steps, submit your inquiry now using the Volunteer Signup form and be one step closer to becoming a VITA or TCE tax volunteer and giving back to your community. We will share your volunteer interest with sponsoring organizations in your area for follow-up contact.