REPORT FROM THE IRS – Last year, in Hawaii more than 500 Hawaii residents gave back to their communities as volunteers that provided free tax services by preparing more than 18,000 Federal and state individual income tax returns through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs.

“The IRS and its partners are once again looking for volunteers that are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal income tax returns for free,” said IRS spokesman David Tucker II.  “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple tax returns for people whose incomes are $50,000 or less. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested and wants to help.”

Anyone can be a volunteer and bilingual volunteers are particularly needed. Volunteers can help in three separate capacities:

  • Return Preparer
  • Site Coordinator (Site Supervisor or Site Manager)
  • Greeter

Site coordinators (supervisors) may also prepare returns.  Greeters will generally also answer simple questions and distribute forms. Volunteers will be provided with free training materials on how to prepare basic individual income tax returns and, in most cases, how to file them electronically. Instruction will cover both federal and Hawaii state tax returns.

Training is usually held between November and January and volunteers generally study online with Link & Learn Taxes to obtain their volunteer certification. The Link & Learn program is an interactive course that teaches all of 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.

Last year, more than 88,000 people gave back to their communities at VITA/TCE volunteers and millions of people receive assistance through these programs.

To volunteer, send an email to taxvolunteer@irs.gov or please contact any of the following organizations:

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide You can sign up to volunteer at their website at http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2006/volunteer_aarp_tax_aide.html?cmp=RDRCT-MONTXAID_JUL15_010

HACBED (Hawai`i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development)

Family and Individual Self-Sufficiency program coordinator, Susan, at (808) 548-1012.

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii        

Legal Aid is Hawaii’s oldest and largest non-profit law firm.  Every year we assist individuals to file their State and Federal tax returns based on income eligibility. Legal Aid relies on volunteers to help us run this program.

If you are interested in volunteering with Legal Aid’s VITA Program please contact Elise von Dohlen at elvondo@lashaw.org or call 527-8056.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, volunteer program coordinator, Lori Lau at (808)946-9675.

Leeward Community College Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, contact Roy, at (808) 455-0294 or kamida@hawaii.edu.        http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kamida

More information about the IRS volunteer tax preparation programs is available at www.IRS.gov, keywords Tax Volunteer.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. A great move by the IRS to spread the knowledge about taxes because more and more people are having problems with the filing of their tax returns. With enough knowledge and awareness, people will be more receptive of the importance of paying taxes at the right time and with the proper amount.

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