IRS will train volunteers how to file tax returns

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By Meg Chevalier, a senior tax specialist in the Providence office of the Internal Revenue Service

By Meg Chevalier, a senior tax specialist in the Providence office of the Internal Revenue Service

If you ever wonder how to make a difference and help people in your community, then becoming a tax volunteer may be just right for you. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for people to provide free tax help in 2016. You will receive all the tax training you need so you can help others file their tax return. The IRS sponsors two programs that offer free tax help across the country. They are the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

In 2015, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.7 million tax returns nationwide at no cost for people with low-to-moderate incomes. In Rhode Island, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared 18,586 tax returns in 2015.

Here are five good reasons why you should become a VITA or TCE volunteer:

• No prior experience is needed. You’ll receive specialized training and can serve in a variety of roles. If you are fluent in another language, you may be able to help those who speak that language.

• You will receive free tax law training and materials. You’ll learn how to prepare basic tax returns and about tax tax helpdeductions and credits that benefit eligible taxpayers. Those include credits such as the earned income tax credit, child tax credit and credit for the elderly.

• Volunteer hours are flexible. Volunteers generally serve an average of three to five hours per week. The programs are usually open from mid-January through the tax filing deadline in April. A few sites are open all year.

• VITA and TCE sites are often nearby.  More than 71 sites were set up in neighborhoods all over Rhode Island this year. They are often set up in community centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and similar places. Chances are good that you can volunteer at a site near you.

• Enrolled agents and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn credits when volunteering as a VITA/TCE instructor, quality reviewer or tax return preparer.

• As a volunteer, you’ll join a program that’s helped millions of people file tax returns at no charge for more than 40 years. Your help will make a difference. It’s people helping people. It’s that simple.

To find out more, visit IRS.gov and type “tax volunteer” in the search box. If you’d like to become a volunteer, please contact me at Miguelina.y.chevalier@irs.gov.

Meg Chevalier is a senior tax specialist in the Providence office of the Internal Revenue Service.

Comments

  1. This arlicte went ahead and made my day.

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