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July 26th, 2017

Learn to Prepare Taxes by Becoming a Tax Volunteer

Taxes

The IRS is looking for people to provide free tax help in 2017. Become a tax volunteer and make a difference in your community.

The IRS sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These two programs offer free tax help across the country for people with low-to-moderate incomes. This year, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.7 million federal tax returns at no cost to families across the country.

Here are five good reasons why you should consider becoming a VITA or TCE volunteer.

1. Flexible hours. Volunteers generally serve an average of three to five hours per week. The programs are usually open from mid-January through the tax filing deadline in April. A few sites are open all year.

2. VITA and TCE sites are often nearby and need your help. Nearly 12,000 sites were set up in neighborhoods all over the country for this past filing season. They are often set up in community centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and similar places. Chances are good that you can volunteer at a site near you.

3. No prior experience needed. You’ll receive specialized training and can serve in a variety of roles. If you are fluent in another language, you may be able to help those who speak that language.

4. Free tax law training and materials. Learn how to prepare basic tax returns and learn about all the tax deductions and credits that benefit eligible taxpayers.

5. Continuing education credits for tax pros. Enrolled Agents and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn credits when volunteering as a VITA/TCE instructor, quality reviewer or tax return preparer.

As a volunteer, you’ll join a program that’s helped millions of people file tax returns at no charge for more than 40 years. Your help will make a difference. It’s people helping people. It’s that simple.

Our local VITA program, that includes locations in Barre, Montpelier, Randolph, Northfield, Morrisville, Waitsfield and South Royalton is always looking for volunteers to do taxes. Last year over 1200 people were assisted by our team, with a benefit of over 1.4 million dollars in refunds.

To find out more, call Capstone Community Action’s Tax Line at 802-477-5148, or email Laura Sudhoff at lsudhoff@capstonevt.org. Training will be starting in November, so call today.
As the Volunteer Income Tax Program Coordinator here at Capstone Community Action, I receive notices all year about tax issues that will affect our community. I hope these articles can help us all to keep up with some of the changes and therefore, have a better tax experience. If you need more information about these tax subjects, or others, let me know at lsudhoff@capstonevt.org. — Laura Sudhoff

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