Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programWestchester County, NY -- Dec. 1, 2017 -- The Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board (WPWDB) is looking for people of all professional backgrounds and experience levels to help administer its popular Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

The program, which will run from Feb. 1 to April 17, 2018, helps low- and moderate-income individuals and families eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) file their taxes and maximize their returns.

Since its inception, VITA has been a vital service for those living paycheck to paycheck or with fixed incomes. All assistance is provided at no cost, and on top of EITC savings (maximum $6,318), clients often discover that they are eligible for additional credits, such as the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.

To make sure it delivers maximum benefits, VITA relies on dedicated volunteers to assist with various tasks, including tax preparation, translation, call-center operations and acting as greeters. Help is needed at sites in Dobbs Ferry, Mount Vernon, Valhalla, White Plains, and Yonkers. No previous experience is required and hours are flexible, averaging three to four hours per week.

Volunteer information and training sessions
Individuals interested in becoming volunteers are invited to attend one of two informational sessions on either Dec. 12 or 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m at 120 Bloomingdale Road in White Plains.

Once registered, volunteers should be prepared to attend one of two training sessions to be held in January. Not all volunteer positions require training. The schedule is as follows:

Session 1
Tuesday/Thursday on Jan. 2, 4, 9 and 11, 2018 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 6 and 13, 2018 from 9 a.m.to noon

Session 2
Tuesday/Thursday on Jan. 16, 18, 23, 2018 from 5:30– 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 20 and 27, 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon

For more information, call (914) 995-4132 or send an e-mail to OJ Yizar at ory1@westchestergov.com. Or, you may register online directly.

VITA training
Training and certification for volunteer tax preparers are offered free and are sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service. Individuals who complete the tax prep training and pass the tax prep test will be certified volunteer tax preparers. No prior tax preparation or accounting experience is required. Volunteer job descriptions and training requirements are listed below.

“Anyone can volunteer. It can be an exciting, educational and enjoyable experience. Volunteers receive the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped others get the most out of the tax refunds. Many taxpayers who come to the VITA site would otherwise turn to paid tax preparers who charge significant fees. By using VITA, those tax taxpayers have more money to use for paying bills, making home repairs and saving for the future,” stated Victor Avendano, Program Specialist for Westchester-Putnam One Stop Career Center.

The VITA training is a combination of self-study, online training and in-class training. After completing the training, participants will need to take and pass the open-book online test for certification. All volunteers are covered by the Volunteer Protection Act.

Volunteer job descriptions and training requirements

Tax Preparers

  • Description: Tax Preparers assist low income wage earners in completing their tax returns and discuss asset development programs available at the site.
  • Training Needed:Tax Preparers receive training and are certified by the IRS. Self-study through IRS’s Ling and Learn site and classroom training/practice session will be provided. A passing score of 80% on each certification exam is required. Certification levels are Basic, Intermediate, and Advance. A Preparer must take each level of instruction and exam before moving to the next level. A Preparer can only prepare returns that are within the scope of the level of certification he/she has. For example, a taxpayer who has itemized deductions needs to have the return prepared by a preparer with an Intermediate or above certification.

Quality Reviewers

  • Description:Quality Reviewers follow a check list of to review tax returns after the return is prepared to ensure accuracy.
  • Training Needed: Same training and certification as required for Tax Preparers. Reviewers must certify, at a minimum, through Intermediate level. Additional quality reviewer training is also required.

Greeters

  • Description: Greeters welcome tax filers to the VITA site during the tax season. They are responsible for ensuring that tax filers have all the information needed to complete their tax returns, including the intake interview form and all income documents. Greeters will also assist taxpayers with financial education and asset development materials available at the site.
  • Training Needed: No training required, but greeters will receive an orientation to the site and materials to be distributed.

Facebook

Instagram

Page Peel Background