The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is getting ready for the upcoming tax season and needs community members to serve at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites.
The Chautauqua County VITA Coalition works with the Internal Revenue Service to provide free, basic income tax preparation services to community members with low to moderate incomes. Trained volunteer preparers explain credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and help individuals complete and electronically file their tax returns, all for free. Refunds can be deposited directly into a bank account within seven to 10 days.
Volunteers can help boost a family's yearly income by up to 35 percent and have a direct impact on the lives of working families and the communities in which they live.
No experience is necessary. All volunteers will receive training appropriate for their position. Volunteers receive the materials for self-study on basic income tax law for federal and state returns. In addition, several specific training sessions will take place through late January. Volunteers are covered under the Volunteer Protection Act and are not accountable for tax returns filed to the IRS.
For those who want to volunteer but don't want to prepare taxes, there are positions for greeters, who create a welcoming atmosphere at VITA sites while also helping to check in families and individuals accessing VITA services. While tax training is not required for greeters, a positive attitude is critical to being effective in this important role. There is also a need for translators. VITA needs volunteer translators for clients who speak English as a second language. The greatest need is for translators fluent in Spanish.
For more information or to sign up to be a volunteer, call the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at 483-1561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.