COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED NOW: Learn more about federal taxes and help others in your community

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED NOW: Learn more about federal taxes and help others in your community

The Internal Revenue Service and Six County VITA Program is looking for volunteers to assist in preparing tax returns next year at various sponsored sites throughout the Six County Region which includes (Sevier, Sanpete, Juab, Piute, Wayne, and Millard Counties.) Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome.

Linda Garfield was a volunteer last year with VITA program with the Juab County Extension/4-H office. She is a greeter and intake specialist which entails welcoming tax clients into a tax preparation site and making sure the paperwork is filled out correctly for individuals whose income is 53,000 or less. The Juab County tax preparation site is located at the Extension office in Nephi. Linda stated, “It makes you feel good when you know you are providing a service and helping people that need assistance with their taxes.” Linda is a very dedicated and caring person and is a valuable asset to the VITA program. We are so grateful to Linda for her volunteer service and are seeking additional outstanding volunteers to help with the VITA program.

Some of the volunteer opportunities include:

Tax Preparer- using income tax software to prepare basic tax returns for household incomes who make $53,000 or less. Tax preparers are required to pass an IRS certification test. Previous experience preparing tax returns is not necessary. Certification: The IRS certification process is an on-line application that is self-paced and open book.

Greeter and Intake Specialist – Welcome tax filers to the tax site and begin the intake process. Greeters work with the Site Coordinator to ensure the site runs smoothly and the taxpayer has a positive experience. This is a very important role for a successful VITA site.

Financial Resource Specialist – Specialists provide information to households at tax sites about asset building opportunities and other community resources, such as debt, credit, and housing.

All volunteers receive tax training in cooperation with community partners and the IRS. Individuals with good computer skills are especially needed to assist in preparing and transmitting returns electronically through the IRS E-file program.

Training

Training is held in January and volunteers generally study online with Link & Learn Taxes to obtain their volunteer certification. The Link & Learn program is an interactive course that teaches the steps needed to prepare basic individual income tax returns accurately. Classroom training is also available. Once certified, volunteers spend as little as three to four hours per week from early February through mid-April.

Last year, volunteers helped over 16,000 Utah taxpayers to receive over $8 million from the Earned Income Tax Credit and distributed more than $24 million in total refunds. However, the IRS estimates that approximately 20-25% of the Earned Income Tax Credit is left unclaimed. Come help families in your community!

VITA sites are located at different venues in these cities: Richfield, Salina, Gunnison, Mt. Pleasant, Manti, Junction, Loa, Nephi, Fillmore, and Delta. For individuals interested in volunteering with the VITA program please contact Shara Bastian, Manager at 893-0735 or sign-up online at utahtaxhelp.org.

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