Big Need for Tax Prep Volunteers This Spring
Two organizations offer Southwestern students with opportunities to gain a new skill while helping low-to-middle income individuals and families file their taxes.
This Spring is the start of a new year, an election year, but it’s also like every year the time for taxes to be filed. To help out the community, various tax centers have opened up to fill the need. The following are two local opportunities:
Community Tax Centers (CTC)
The Community Tax Centers needs over 700 tax preparers to reach their goal of 20,000 tax returns, putting $32 million back into the pockets of those who need it most. They provide free income tax preparation services to help low-income families claim millions in tax refunds and credits, giving working families a chance to build a financial future.
Currently, they have a great partnership with the accounting programs at UT and ACC, and have offered opportunities to earn credit in their accounting classes in a number of ways, including extra points, dropping a low exam grade, or entire class credit based on hours worked. They are looking to build a relationship with Southwestern students and faculty in the same way.
They have ten sites in the areas of Austin, Round Rock and Del Valle, and ask that students commit to 36 hours in 2012 (average 3 hours/week). It provides a great opportunity for real world tax preparation experience and the opportunity to put classroom knowledge to practical and impactful use.
To get started, you can sign up at their website.
For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Sciorilli at 512-634-7137 or email@example.com.
Williamson County Financial Stability Council (WCFSC)
United Way of Williamson County is part of a Coalition that has expanded the free tax preparation opportunities available to our low and moderate income neighbors across Williamson County. They will be needing twice as many volunteers to help as tax preparers for the 2012 cycle, and hopefully with the predicted increase in volunteers they will be able to assist hundreds more individuals and families.
There are three ways to volunteer, but our greatest need is for Tax Preparers! Tax preparers need not have prior experience and are provided with FREE classes and materials to help them get IRS certified. Other volunteer positions include site support and English/Spanish translators.
Hours are flexible, and shifts run from January 28 through April 16. Tax training will be provided and the WCFSC emphasizes that this is a great short-term and effective opportunity.
There are three VITA Free Tax locations (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and for Southwestern students the closest location is the newly opened site at the Georgetown Community Resource Center.
They emphasize that even a few hours of volunteering can mean thousands of dollars to a working family, helping these families to pay utility bills and put food on the table.