You can volunteer for the Women’s Building Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program! Our site is open this coming spring (February to mid-April 2011), and offers free tax preparation to low income individuals and families.
Every year billions of dollars in tax credits go unclaimed by low-income taxpayers who don’t know they are eligible. VITA volunteers help clients apply all the appropriate tax credits, allowing the people who need it most to get the returns they deserve. Last year our site assisted 620 clients, with over $528,920 claimed in total refunds and $152,294 claimed in Earned Income Tax Credit alone. To illustrate what this means for real people: One mother of three came to our VITA Site last year. She earned $13,000. We helped her apply all the relevant credits, and she received $5000 after filing her taxes.
By becoming a VITA volunteer, you will:
* Learn a valuable and useful skill: tax preparation (you can prepare family and friends’ returns as well as your own!) * Regularly work with other volunteers that want to help people too!
* Help families and individuals that really need someone they can trust to do their taxes and get their full tax refund without feeling taken advantage of or insecure about the process
* See the immediate effects of your hard work – a family see their refund amount and can’t stop smiling and thanking you!
New volunteers attend 24 hours of Tax Prep training (first 3 Saturdays in January) at Golden Gate University and complete a volunteer tax preparer test.
There is also a Women’s Building site orientation the week before preparation begins:
Thursday shift Orientation: January 26, 5:30-8:30pm
Saturday shift Orientation: January 28, 10:30 – 1:30 or 2:30 – 5:30
Volunteer shifts are Thursdays 5-9, Saturdays from 10-2 and 2-6 from February 2 to April 14 at The Women’s Building at 18th and Valencia.
While we encourage bilingual volunteers (English-Spanish, English-Cantonese) to sign up, we also have a need for English speaking volunteers. Here at TWB we have 4 volunteer roles you can fill:
Appointment Scheduler – beginning at the end of January, you have a weekly (or twice weekly) shift here in the Women’s Building screening people on the phone before making their appointments for tax preparation (this can be at a time that is convenient to you, NOT during tax prep hours). This step is crucial to making sure tax clients have all their documentation necessary for the appointment and to refer people to other local organizations if we don’t offer the preparation service they need. (You only need to attend the first Tax Prep training day on January 7 at Golden Gate University and a TWB orientation and training)
Greeter/Screener – you will greet tax clients as they arrive and make sure they have the documents needed to complete their return. You assist greatly in managing the flow of clients in and out of our site. (You only need to attend the first Tax Prep training day on January 7 at Golden Gate University and a TWB orientation)
Interpreter/Translator – you will assist in translating during tax preparation and in the greeting process. (You only need to attend the first Tax Prep training day on January 7 at Golden Gate University and a TWB orientation)
Tax Preparer/Quality Reviewer – you will prepare people’s taxes! Appointments for clients are one hour each, so you will likely be serving 3 clients per shift. (Requires first 3 Saturdays in January Tax Prep training and completing a volunteer tax preparer test, as well as TWB orientation)
How to get started:
If you are interested please email the following:
your preferred role (see above)
your preferred shift (Thursday 5-9, Saturday 10-2, or Saturday 2-6)
confirm your availability to attend the necessary trainings (listed above)
your preferred method of communication (email or phone)
To: Claudia or Kyle, Community Programs Coordinators at 415-431-1180 x11 or firstname.lastname@example.org.