Part of a nationwide initiative sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free income tax preparation to low-to-moderate-income individuals and families earning less than $52,000 a year. IRS-trained volunteers are certified to prepare basic tax returns using TaxWise Online software. VITA sites also connect families to programs and services that can help them to maximize their tax refunds, such as matched savings programs, budget coaching, financial education, and benefits screenings. In 2011, the CAHS VITA program saved working families in central and southwestern Connecticut $1.4 million in tax preparation fees and brought $13.8 million in refunds and credits back into local communities.
Family & Children’s Agency is currently seeking VITA volunteers bilingual in English and Spanish to provide free basic tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers. Volunteers play a critical role in ensuring that all CT residents are able to access valuable tax credits without paying high fees. The volunteers must be committed to providing high quality service and uphold the highest of ethical standards in order to establish and ensure the greatest degree of public trust.
A financial background is helpful but not necessary. Training is provided by the IRS to ensure that all volunteers are comfortable with the basics of tax preparation and the tax preparation software. Basic computer skills are necessary, as tax returns are completed using a computer.
Volunteer Commitment and Requirements
- Volunteer must be bilingual in English and Spanish
- Volunteers are required to register with the VITA website
- Attend an Agency orientation with FCA’s Manager of Volunteers Services
- Complete a volunteer application including background checks
- Attend basic tax law training and certification as needed, including the use of electronic filing software and successfully pass a test on required tax law knowledge
- VITA site hours are Tuesdays, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p. m. beginning January 31 and ending April 4
- Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 12 hours during the 11-week period
Benefits to Becoming a VITA Volunteer
- Develop a lifelong skill
- Build your resume
- Receive a Certificate of Recognition from the IRS
- Gain personal satisfaction!
- ETC / Tax Assistance
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Background Check
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- 12 hours during the 11 week time period