South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

IRS looking for volunteer tax preparers


December 6, 2011

Nearly 4,000 civic-minded individuals in counties across Pennsylvania gave back to their communities as volunteers who provided free tax services through the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs earlier this year.

The IRS is seeking to add a few more good VITA/TCE volunteers and partner organizations for the approaching filing season.

@"The IRS and our VITA and TCE partners@want to make a great program even better by increasing the number of volunteers who are interested in learning about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal income tax returns for free in Pennsylvania," said IRS spokeswoman Jennifer Jenkins. "Volunteers are certified to prepare simple tax returns for others with incomes $50,000 or less. Folks of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. We have a role for anyone ready, willing and able to help."

@Volunteers can serve in three capacities: return preparer, site coordinator/supervisor/manager, and greeter. Site coordinators may also prepare returns. Greeters will generally also answer simple questions and distribute forms.

@Training is usually held between November and January and volunteers generally study online to obtain their volunteer certification. The online training is an interactive course that covers all the basics needed to prepare simple income tax returns accurately for individuals. Classroom training may also be available. Once certified, volunteers spend as little as three to four hours per week volunteering between the months of February and April.

Each year, millions of people receive assistance through these programs, which help low-income, disabled, military and senior taxpayers identify and claim tax credits and deductions that might otherwise have been overlooked, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In 2011, Volunteers staffed approximately 600 free tax preparation sites in Pennsylvania communities, and helped prepare and file nearly 130,000 returns.

@To volunteer, send an email to More information about IRS volunteer tax preparation programs is available at, keywords Tax Volunteer.


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