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Greeters VITA helps low-to-moderate income workers by providing free tax preparation assistance. Who are VITA volunteers?
Generally speaking, VITA volunteers enjoy working with numbers and care about people. In 2009, more than twenty percent of volunteers were CPAs, accountants or finance professionals. Another twenty-two percent were accounting students. And the rest were people with experience preparing their own taxes and for some, helping friends and family prepare theirs. Nearly 150 volunteers contributed 3,500 hours last tax season. And 80 percent of the volunteers who volunteered plan to come back again this year. Now that’s a favorable return!
IRS Tax Training
Tax preparers and quality reviewers are provided training and materials to become IRS certified. Training is available in a classroom setting, through webinars or an online study course – all options are available at no cost to the volunteer. Training dates, locations and sign-up can be found at www.unitedwaydm.org/vita
Meet face-to-face with the taxpayer to gather information and review documentation. Prepare the tax return in the tax team work area using TaxWise software. Discuss the tax return with the taxpayer after quality review process is complete. Participate in IRS tax training and complete intermediate level certification.
Classroom Instruction Developed for both new and returning volunteers, the classroom instruction will cover content and provide time for testing at the intermediate level. Volunteers will have hands-on practice with TaxWise software. New volunteers are strongly encouraged to participate in the classroom instruction.
Webinars Volunteers can access tax training webinars offered by Iowa State University. This series of eight one-hour courses is offered live or archived.
Online Instruction Training is also available through Link and Learn, an online IRS service.
Welcome taxpayers and oversee the sign-in process. Complete a checklist with the taxpayer to confirm he/she has appropriate documentation. Participate in a one hour training held in January.
Check completed tax form for errors utilizing the IRS checklist and advise tax preparer of changes to be made. Circulate among tax preparation team to provide support and answer questions. Participate in IRS tax training and complete advanced level certification.
Compile completed tax returns according to IRS standards before they are presented to the taxpayer. Assist in staging the tax site – making sure each station has the supplies and paperwork needed for optimal efficiency. Participate in a one hour training held in January.
Sites and Schedules Beginning January 25 through April 15, VITA volunteers are asked to work one shift every week ranging from three to four hours. Some sites are open daytime hours, others during evenings, and some on the weekends. VITA volunteers can choose the site and schedule that are most convenient.
2010 VITA Sites Altoona – Central Place 6540 NE 12th Avenue Ankeny - Neveln Community Resource Center 406 SW School Street Des Moines – Park Fair Mall 100 E. Euclid Des Moines – United Way of Central Iowa 1111 Ninth Street Indianola – WeLIFT/Trinity United Presbyterian Church 106 E 2nd Avenue (Hwy 92) Perry – First Presbyterian Church 1323 4th St
by the numbers
In 2009 the average yearly income of taxpayers at VITA sites Central Iowa families make $49,000 or less even though many are employed – often with two jobs.
VITA reaches these individuals and families, saving them the cost of tax preparation and helping them claim all the tax credits for which they are eligible.
Contact: Rachel Brown, VITA Volunteer Manager United Way of Central Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org – 515-554-1417
Perry –First Christian Church 1224 Lucinda St.
I have always liked numbers and accounting so when I saw the VITA volunteer posting I was very excited. I was hoping to learn a lot, meet new people, and help the community- that is exactly what happened! I can’t wait for the upcoming season! – Shea, The Principal Financial Group
I’m not an accountant, so I nearly passed up this opportunity. After volunteering for VITA, I can say it’s been very rewarding. I’ve not only met great people, I have expanded my knowledge about taxes and tax preparation. – Juliana, Wells Fargo
United Way of Central Iowa: Community Goals for 2020. Income – to elevate 40,000 lower-income working families to become financially stable.