Help local families in 2018 by volunteering for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program! VITA provides free tax preparation and filing services for low- and moderate-income individuals and families earning up to $54,000.
Not everyone can afford professional tax preparation fees. Without this program, many taxpayers in our community would not file their annual tax returns. For the 2016 tax year, VITA volunteers completed and filed state and federal income tax returns for more than 1,900 families in Linn and Jones Counties.
As a VITA volunteer, you will benefit our community by helping people receive tax credits they qualify for including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, Education Tax Credit, and Child Care Deduction. The money these families receive from their tax returns will help them pay bills, put food on the table, and prepare for the future.
Last year, refunds through VITA brought $3.35 million back into our community. The average federal tax return was more than $1,700. In 2018, the program plans to increase access by expanding service hours.
As the program grows, so does the need for volunteers. For the upcoming tax season, VITA needs 75–85 volunteers. There are three types of volunteer positions available:
- Tax Preparers: Participate in free IRS tax training and complete basic or advanced level certification. At VITA sites, you will meet face to face with taxpayers to gather information, review documentation, and prepare tax returns. No experience necessary. We also need multilingual tax preparers.
- Intake Specialists: First point of contact for the new drop-off process. You will review taxpayer documentation to ensure complete information and finalize the process by securing their signatures.
- Greeters: Participate in a one-hour training in December. Welcome tax payers and oversee sign-in process. Complete checklist with taxpayer to confirm proper documentation. Call next day clients to confirm their appointments.
If you would like to become a volunteer, contact Cliff Ehlinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-398-5372 ext. 812.