People can act now to help others in their community next year

IRS Tax Tip 2019-90, July 10, 2019

Every year, hundreds of people volunteer their time to help other taxpayers. IRS volunteers provide free tax preparation in communities across the nation. While it might seem like the distant future, people who want to volunteer in 2020 can start taking action now.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free tax help across the country. These programs help people with low-to-moderate incomes, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and those who speak limited English. Last year, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared millions of federal tax returns for qualified taxpayers at no cost. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit the sign up page.

Here are reasons people become an IRS-certified VITA or TCE tax volunteer:

  • Flexible hours. Volunteers serve an average of three to five hours per week. The programs are usually open from mid-to-late-January through the tax filing deadline in April. Some sites are even open all year.
  • VITA and TCE sites are often nearby. Each year there are thousands of sites set up in neighborhoods all over the country. These free tax help sites are in places like community centers, libraries, schools and shopping malls.
  • No prior experience needed. Volunteers receive special training and often serve in a variety of roles. VITA and TCE programs want volunteers of all backgrounds and ages. They also want people who are fluent in other languages.
  • Free tax law training and materials. Volunteers receive training materials at no charge. The tax law training covers how to prepare basic federal tax returns electronically. The training also covers tax topics like deductions and credits.
  • Continuing education credits for tax pros. Enrolled agents and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn continuing education creditsPDF when volunteering as a VITA/TCE instructor, quality reviewer, or tax return preparer.

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