The IRS Needs Volunteers!

10/1/2017 | Written by: Selena R. Quintanilla

The IRS is searching for volunteers to lend a helping hand and to share some wisdom in their communities. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, the IRS is preparing to assist low-to-moderate income families in filing their tax returns. 

How can you help? For starters, please note that tax knowledge is not a requirement. All you need is a passion for aiding as well as the dedication to following through on your commitment; everything else can be taught. If you are, however, interested in learning about taxes, this is the perfect opportunity as tax law training, along with materials, will be provided to you free of charge! So, if the gratification received from making a difference isn't enough, you may also walk away with a better understanding of tax deductions, credits, and filing requirements. 

If taxes are just not your thing, don't let that discourage you from volunteering. Several of the VITA positions don't require you to learn tax law. These are:
 

Greeter/Screener. Most people cringe at the thought of meeting with the IRS, and you’d be surprised at what a difference a smile can make to calm nerves. You’ll also be connecting with visitors to confirm the reason for their visit while verifying that they have the necessary documents in hand.


Interpreter. Bilingual volunteers are needed in most locations. Tax knowledge isn’t required in this position, though it’s a plus. (Tax law is a language all its own.)


Site Administrator/Coordinator. You can put your organizational skills to work by assisting with setting and maintaining schedules. With so many individuals requiring help, the IRS always needs assistance with helping their days run as smoothly as possible. 


Computer Specialist or Troubleshooter. Your knowledge of communication systems, software, and personal computers mixed with the right amount of patience can go a long way. Certification is not required, though you should become familiar with the variable tax software within your designated site. 


As a volunteer, you can serve anywhere from three to five hours a week, beginning mid-January and wrapping up in late April. With over 11,000 sites in surrounding neighborhoods, the VITA program makes it easy for you to volunteer at a location close to home or work. Sites are conveniently located near community centers, libraries, shopping malls and even school campuses.


The good news is, if you learn tax law and love it, you can volunteer annually and earn continuing education credits, while acting as an instructor, quality reviewer or a tax preparer.


Got a knack for giving back? Sign up to be a VITA volunteer at IRS.gov.