September 23, 2020 There's never been a better time for your employees to join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. VITA/TCE volunteers provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers. With many people experiencing financial changes this year, additional volunteers are needed to assist them. In response, the IRS is rolling out new ways to make volunteering easier. New this year, potential volunteers can tune in virtually to learn more about the program, find out which volunteer role is right for them and ask questions. Additionally, some volunteer sites will now give volunteers the option to assist taxpayers virtually versus the normal face to face help they provide. This allows volunteers to help taxpayers over the phone or online to complete their returns. Other volunteers will conduct a quality review with the taxpayer before the tax return is e-filed with the IRS. Virtual volunteering is a great option for new volunteers, since the volunteers can ask experienced volunteers for help while completing tax returns. Returning VITA/TCE volunteers will find it easier than ever to complete the certification requirements. For the 2021 filing season, experienced volunteers can take the new Returning Volunteer Test. This online test is shorter than the traditional test, allowing volunteers to devote more of their time to assisting taxpayers. While volunteering for VITA/TCE certainly helps taxpayers in your community, it also helps improve your employees' skills. Your employees will enhance their customer service aptitude while learning new computer competencies and learning more about finances. Encourage your employees to visit IRS.gov/volunteers to learn more and sign up. After signing up, they will receive more information about attending a virtual orientation. If you would like to host your own VITA/TCE site, you can also signup to find out more about becoming an IRS partner.