Interested in learning new skills and giving back to your community? The 2022 tax season is right around the corner. Join the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and volunteer as a tax preparer (virtually or help with intake in-person)! Help provide free tax assistance to people with low-to-moderate income, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency, and others who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Help individuals and families get their tax refunds, save money on tax preparation and filing fees, comply with tax filing laws, retain and build assets, and learn about financial literacy.
No experience necessary, all training is provided by EBALDC. All tax preparation can be done from home.
Conduct virtual intake interviews to fully understand taxpayer's tax situation and ensure the correct tax law is applied and all allowable credits are claimed
Provide high-quality tax return preparation and answer tax-related questions for all taxpayers.
Contact the site coordinator or IRS support hotline for assistance when necessary
Provide information about other programs, such as food stamps, that taxpayers may be able to utilize (if applicable at your VITA site)
Review completed returns for accuracy if certified to the Advanced level
Ensure a copy of the completed tax return is provided to the taxpayer
Encourage clients to save a portion of their refund in one of the available vehicles, for example a savings bond, a savings account, or a prepaid debit card
maintain confidentiality of taxpayer information
Ensure no compensation of any kind if accepted for volunteer services provided.
Pass Basic IRS certification test. Passing score on Advanced IRS certification test-optional.
If not a tax preparation volunteer, willingness to help on-site in downtown Oakland in certification.
Pass the Standard of Conduct and Intake/Interview & Quality Review certifications through Link and Learn
Only prepare returns within your certification scope (i.e. only Advanced preparers can help clients with itemized deductions)
Read all communications and updates on tax requirements or procedural changes
Respect client privacy
Maintain accurate records of assistance provided
Give 24-hour cancellation notice when unable to volunteer at your site
Ability to volunteer at least 4 hours/week, totaling at least 30 hours from late January to mid-April 2022
Strong verbal communication skills
Good interpersonal skills and comfort with a wide range of people
Computer skills for entering tax information (formal training will be provided)
Ability to take initiative and work with minimal supervision
Commitment to strengthening families by increasing self-sufficiency
Basic tax knowledge a plus