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Local free tax service looking for volunteers

A local free tax service is looking for volunteers for the upcoming tax season beginning in January.

Are you looking for an opportunity to help other folks? Want to donate some time to your community? Here is your chance!  The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Free Income Tax Service is in need of your help.

The VITA program will be starting its fourth year in Marion County this tax season. During the last tax season, the South Pittsburg and Whitwell tax sites completed over 650 federal income tax returns and over 150 State income tax returns, returning over $1,000,000 in tax refunds to taxpayers. And the best part? The tax service is free!

This free tax service is sponsored by the IRS and local community organizations. The people who help complete the tax returns are community volunteers who want to help others. Interested in being a VITA volunteer?  These are some highlights for an ideal volunteer:

  • Do not need to have any previous tax knowledge or be a tax “expert.”

  • Have a desire to help others that stress-out over taxes.

  • Must be able to use a computer and access the Internet.

  • Be able to volunteer at least 4 or more hours per week (Jan 15th – April 16th, 2019).

  • Complete the tax program training before mid-January.

  • Successfully pass the IRS on-line tax program certification tests.

The tax program training is hands-on, one-on-one, show and tell, using materials provided by the IRS. You will learn where to enter the various types of income and expenses in the software program which does most of the work calculating and printing the returns. Training usually starts after mid-October and runs through mid-January (not during holiday weeks of course).

The VITA program is a very rewarding experience. You meet all sorts of interesting people, get to visit with taxpayers and prepare their taxes for free. Our primary focus is to provide our taxpayers with an accurate tax return that includes the most deductions possible within the tax law. There is no pressure to rush through your work or to prepare as many tax returns as possible to meet some imaginary goal or revenue projection. We strive to educate and make the tax process less intimidating for our taxpayers.

Both locations will operate on an “APPOINTMENT ONLY” basis. Taxpayers call to make appointments so we know how many tax returns will be scheduled that day.  Sometimes we get unexpected walk-in taxpayers, so we do what we can to help them as time permits. The Whitwell site will be open on Thursdays, and the South Pittsburg site will be open every day except Thursdays (hours of operation have not been set at this time).  Normally, volunteers work 4-5 hours (morning or afternoon) a few days per week but if you can only commit to 4 hours per week, we would be happy to have you.

If you are interested and think you have what it takes to be a VITA volunteer, please call 423-580-0042 to volunteer in South Pittsburg, or 423-463-7148 to volunteer in Whitwell. This is a tremendous way to give to the community and to have a rewarding experience in so doing. We look forward to your support!

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/local-free-tax-service-looking-volunteers/