Last year over 99,000 people nationwide answered the call to help their neighbors prepare taxes. The IRS programs VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) are community-based programs that provide free tax preparation for qualifying individuals and families. Volunteers are needed here in Champaign County! This is a great opportunity for those who are fluent in other languages, people who have an interest in learning more about our tax system, or anyone with a few spare hours per week. Our local coodinator is Salem Baptist Church.
Here are five things the IRS wants you to know about becoming a VITA/TCE volunteer.
- No previous experience is required. Volunteers receive specialized training from certified VITA/TCE volunteers and can serve as greeters, reviewers or tax preparers.
- IRS provides free tax law training, e-file training and all the materials needed to prepare basic individual income tax returns.
- The hours are flexible. Volunteers are asked to serve an average of three to four hours per week from mid-January through the tax deadline, which is April 15 in 2013.
- Volunteer sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools and other convenient locations.
- Most VITA/TCE sites also offer free electronic filing of tax returns.
Want to get more information or sign up? Visit the IRS web site.