Make a Difference, Become a Community Tax Volunteer
September 15, 2017
Submitted by Internal Audit
Gila River Indian Community
The Gila River Indian Community is looking for volunteers to provide free tax preparation and help to their neighbors and other area residents in 2018.
The IRS sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These two programs offer free tax help across the country for people with low-to-moderate incomes, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency and Native Americans. This year, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.5 million federal tax returns for all types of taxpayers at no cost.
Tax volunteers can and do make a difference in their community.
Here are five reasons to become a VITA or TCE tax volunteer:
- Flexible hours. Volunteers generally serve an average of three to five hours per week. The programs are usually open from mid-to-late-January through the tax filing deadline in April with a few sites open all year.
- VITA and TCE sites are often nearby. Over 11,000 sites were set up in neighborhoods all over the country for this past filing season. These free tax help sites are located in nearby community centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other similar areas with flexible hours.
- No prior experience needed. Volunteers receive specialized training and often serve in a variety of roles. VITA and TCE programs want volunteers of all backgrounds and ages as well as individuals who are fluent in another language.
- Free tax law training and materials. Tax volunteers receive training materials at no charge. The tax law training covers preparing basic federal tax returns electronically and learning about tax deductions, credits and allowable expenses that benefit eligible taxpayers.
- Continuing education credits for tax pros. Enrolled Agents and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn continuing education credits when volunteering as a VITA/TCE instructor, quality reviewer or tax return preparer. Go to this IRS Fact Sheet for more information on Continuing Education Credits.
Taxpayers who volunteer are joining a program that has helped millions of people file tax returns at no cost for more than 40 years. Taxpayers who volunteer make a difference. This is people helping people and it’s that simple.
Here are some of the volunteer roles needed at the Gila River Indian Community free tax preparation site:
Greeter/Screener – You greet everyone visiting the site to create a pleasant atmosphere. You screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need and confirm they have the necessary documents to complete their tax returns. Tax law certification is not required for this position.
Tax Preparer – You complete and successfully certify in tax law training, including the use of electronic filing software, to provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers.
Quality Reviewer – You review tax returns completed by volunteer tax preparers, ensuring that every taxpayer receives top quality service and that the tax returns are error-free. You must be tax law certified at least at the Intermediate level.
To become a VITA tax volunteer, for the Gila River Indian Community please call (520) 562-9550 or contact Debra Baubie at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dena Thomas at email@example.com.