The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its many partners are asking for volunteers who are interested in helping those in need this tax season. For many years, the IRS has sponsored various programs to help families in the U.S. who may be struggling. One of these programs provides volunteer income tax assistance to eligible taxpayers, generally earning less than $57,000 per year, have a disability or those with limited English-speaking capabilities. Another program works to provide tax counseling for the elderly.
These programs certainly helped countless individuals and families over the years. Luckily, you don’t need to be a tax professional to help! Here are some of the volunteer roles:
- Greeters to help screen the taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need.
- Interpreters to provide language services.
- Tax preparers to use electronic filing software to complete tax returns.
- Tax coaches to encourage taxpayers to prepare their own tax returns and help to walk them through the process.
Volunteers can generally choose their own hours and days to volunteer. All volunteers will receive tax law training and materials at no cost to them. Then, they will receive specialized training to become IRS-certified. No prior experience is necessary, however, tax professionals can earn continuing education credits for their participation as an instructor, quality reviewer or tax return preparer.
To help keep everyone safe, the IRS has rolled out new processes to make volunteering safe and easy. Anyone interested in volunteering can meet virtually with leaders to learn more about the different programs and ask questions. Additionally, some of the volunteer sites will offer virtual help to taxpayers seeking tax filing assistance. There will be select sites open for in-person tax assistance, however, safety and social distancing guidelines will be strictly followed.