Tax Volunteer Descriptions

 

Tax Preparer

Greeter

Tax Coach

Other Specialty Volunteers

Role
  • Provide free tax return preparation for eligible tax payers.
  • IRS-certified volunteer preparers establish the greatest degree of public trust by providing top quality service and upholding the highest ethical standards.
  • Provide support to the site and volunteer preparers by greeting visitors to the tax site and screening all tax payers to ensure they have the necessary information and documents required to complete a tax return
  • Guide taxpayers in entering their own tax data into online self file software.
  • Answer computer and tax questions at “Facilitated Self-Assist” tax workshop.
Other volunteers needed include:

  • Interpreters (Spanish, American Sign Language, Arabic, French, Tigrinya, Swahili, Kirundi)
  • Computer Specialists
  • Appointment takers
  • Healthcare certified application counselors and navigators.

Volunteer Season
  • Late January through April 18. Minimum commitment is 12 hours or 3 sessions of volunteer service.
  • Late January through April 18.
  • Late January through April 18; limited dates.
  • Late January through April 15.
  • Interpreters may be onsite, oncall or by appointment.
  • Computer specialists are needed throughout the tax season, especially in the first weeks.
  • Appointment takers work from home, starting Jan 10.

Locations and Times
  • Specific sites at community colleges, financial opportunity centers and high schools.  Usually daytime hours.
Varies: specific sites from the broader list that need specialty support. (So, for example, Price Hill needs Spanish interpreters, Florence needs computer help, etc.).  Computer specialists are needed at the beginning of each service day.  Appointment takers work from home, but may need to make calls on weekdays, evenings or weekends.

Responsibilities
  • Successfully certify in Volunteer Standards of Conduct and the Basic or Advanced tax course.
  • Interview tax payer to determine if all income, deductions and allowable credits are claimed. Include the tax payer in the preparation of the return.
  • Prepare the tax return using the source documents and completed intake sheet.
  • Advise the tax payer that he/she is ultimately responsible for the information on the return.
  • Maintain confidentiality of tax payer information.
  • Successfully certify in Volunteer Standards of Conduct.
  • Maintain a sign in sheet for tax payers needing assistance.
  • Greet all tax payers visiting the site to create a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Ensure the tax payer has brought the required documents.
  • Give each tax payer intake sheet.
  • Explain the site’s return preparation process to the tax payer
  • Monitor site traffic to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for all tax payers being checked in at the site to receive assistance.
  • Maintain confidentiality of tax payer information.
  • Successfully certify in Volunteer Standards of Conduct and the Basic or Advanced tax course.
  • Learn “MyFreeTaxes” software application
  • Help taxpayer determine whether he or she has adequate computer skills for self file.
  • Assist taxpayer in logging in, saving password info and navigating the return.
  • Answer tax and software questions as taxpayer completes the return.
  • Assist taxpayer in completing return and printing a copy.
  • Maintain confidentiality of tax payer information.

All volunteers must successfully certify in Volunteer Standards of Conduct (online exam- 10 questions).

  • Interpreters will work side by side with tax preparers and greeters to assist taxfilers who do not  understand English.
  • Computer  specialists visit sites each week for basic troubleshooting.  Set up laptops and printers, run updates and virus checks, make sure all the computers are able to access the internet software and can print tax forms.
  • Appointment takers take messages from an online voicemail box and call back volunteers to set appointments and tell them what to bring with them to a tax site.
  • Certified healthcare volunteers assist taxpayers who need to enroll in marketplace or Medicaid health insurance or make changes in their enrollment in these programs.

Qualifications
  • Basic computer skills for inputting tax return information
  • Willing to learn applicable tax law.
  • Ability to deal with the public in a helpful and supportive manner.
  • Friendly, dependable, and flexible personality.
  • Basic tax knowledge is helpful, but not necessary.
  • Ability to deal with the public in a helpful and supportive manner
  • Good organizational skills
  • Be friendly, dependable and flexible.
  • Teaching/Coaching skills: ability to encourage and empower people to work through problems.
  • Excellent computer skills.
  • Willing to learn applicable tax law.
  • Ability to deal with the public in a helpful and supportive manner.
  • Self-reliant; able to work alone with taxpayers.
These tasks do not require tax knowledge.

  • Ability to deal with the public in a helpful and supportive manner
  • Interpreters need to be bilingual, able to explain complex topics and able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Computer specialists need basic networking and troubleshooting skills (old-ish computers, nothing fancy).
  • Appointment takers need good phone manners, patience, and will need to learn a simple online software to record appointments.

Support & Training
  • Online and Classroom training options
  • Each location has an experienced site coordinator to help you along the way and review each return before it is actually submitted to the IRS.
  • Online training
  • Each location has an experienced site coordinator to help you along the way.
  • Online and classroom training.
  • Volunteer Standards is a 10 question test with a one page explanation here.
  • Each location has an experienced site coordinator to help you along the way.

Impact Last tax season, thanks to the work of more than 522 volunteers, more than 21,000 tax returns were prepared returning about $23 million in tax refunds to local families – many of whom cannot afford professional tax preparation services or may not have the skills to complete tax forms.

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