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Volunteers sought for local free tax prep programs

UPublish story by Jennifer Jenkins, IRS field media relations

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Recruitment is underway throughout Ohio for volunteers and partner organizations for the Internal Revenue Service’s free tax preparation programs. Volunteers must receive training and achieve certification over the next two months to be ready for the start of the 2013 tax filing season.

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help to seniors as well as to low-to-moderate income and disabled individuals. Partner organizations set up free tax preparation sites in local communities, where volunteers meet with and assist qualifying taxpayers. Some VITA or TCE sites may offer a “self-prepare” option for people to do their own taxes for free using web-based tax preparation software. Volunteers will be needed in all these sites during the upcoming filing season.

While volunteers are needed for tax preparation, help is also needed for a variety of other important roles. These include greeter/screener, interpreter, site administrator/coordinator and computer specialist or troubleshooter. Tax preparers, quality reviewers and tax coaches do need to complete specialized tax law training and certification in order to assist others with their tax returns. Training is free and the hours are flexible.

VITA and TCE volunteers promote awareness of eligibility requirements for valuable tax deductions and credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Details of the VITA and TCE programs are available on the IRS website, www.IRS.gov, at key words Tax Volunteer. To volunteer with or host a community VITA/TCE site, email TaxVolunteer@IRS.gov.


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