Tax Preparer Volunteer
BACKGROUND:The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home.
SCOPE OF VOLUNTEER WORK: The IRC’s Program Quality and Innovation Unit assists offices which help newly arrived refugees and other low-income individuals reach self-sufficiency by finding entry-level employment and progress to living wage jobs; learn basic financial management skills and build assets; start small businesses; and access Earned Income Tax Credit.
Under the supervision of the Tax Site Coordinator and Financial Coach, Volunteer Tax Preparers will provide free, professional tax preparation services for low-income clients through IRC’s National Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program is offering services to clients in IRC offices located in Phoenix, AZ; Denver, CO; Elizabeth, NJ; New York, NY; Dallas, TX; and Salt Lake City, UT. The IRC’s goal is to assist 4,000 taxpayers in preparing their returns in a safe, culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
· Complete all IRC and IRS mandated trainings by January 2023. Including the Volunteer Standards of Conduct Training and Ethics; the Volunteer Standards of Conduct certification; and complete the Intake/Interview & Quality Review certification.
· Gain Basic certification to prepare taxes, however, gaining Advanced certification is preferred. To help prepare more complicated returns, certification is needed at the Circular 230, Advanced, Military, Health Savings Accounts, Puerto Rico, Foreign Student, or International tax law levels. Prepare only returns that are within your certification level(s) and within the scope of the VITA/TCE Programs
· Prepare and provide high-quality tax returns to all taxpayers. Interview taxpayers using Form 13614-C, Intake/Interview & Quality Review Sheet, to determine if all income, deductions, and allowable credits are claimed.
· Engage the taxpayer when preparing the tax return, to ensure understanding of the information on the intake sheet.
· Advise the taxpayer that he/she is ultimately responsible for the information on the return.
· Conduct a quality review on all returns, using the Quality Review Checklist found in Publication 4012. Using the completed Form 13614-C and source documents, ensure all these items are consistent with the entries on the tax return.
· Advise the taxpayer that he/she is ultimately responsible for the information on the return before asking the taxpayer to sign Form 8879 or the tax return. Explain to the taxpayer that signing the return certifies that the taxpayer has examined the return, including all the forms and schedules for accuracy, and they are signing the return under penalty of perjury.
· Provide feedback to volunteer preparers explaining identified errors captured during quality review and instructions for making the necessary corrections.
1. The volunteer will learn how to effectively coordinate VITA program
2. The volunteer will learn about providing financial services to community members.