Opportunities to Volunteer, Intern, Donate or Support Free Tax Preparation
Just because the work and services MEIC members and partners provide is free for Michigan taxpayers does not mean that it does not require significant money, resources and time. MEIC members and partners work year-round raising money, acquiring resources (computers, printers, paper, etc.), donated space to prepare taxes and, most importantly, recruiting and training volunteers.
If you, someone you know, someone in your community, someone you work with or employ, a neighbor, a customer or a friend has benefited from a free income tax assistance program, consider offering your support for this critical service. You can give time as a volunteer at a local MEIC member or partner site, you can donate resources like equipment, supplies, technology and space or you can make a financial contribution (which may be eligible for a tax credit of your own).
Look at the list of potential volunteer opportunities below or check out the IRS Tax Volunteers page for more information. Then contact a MEIC member or partner near you or fill out the form at the bottom of the page. If you are a college student, or someone else interested in an internship with either the MEIC or one of the many MEIC member or partner organizations, go to our Intern In Michigan webpage to see all available opportunities.
If you are interested in donating resources or time, or have any other questions, contact Ross H. Yednock (email@example.com) at CEDAM. He will be able connect you and your request to support free tax programs with the appropriate MEIC member or partner.
Do you want to meet new people? Learn how to do taxes, for free? Help people living in your community? Volunteering at a local free income tax assistance site might be right for you. Below are some descriptions of general volunteer jobs at most free income tax assistance sites. While ALL require that you sign and pass an ethics test, training and requirements each volunteer job will differ. Contact a MEIC member or partner near you to learn more. If you do not find a MEIC member in your area, contact Ross H. Yednock (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be connected with free income tax preparation opportunities.
Greeters provides support and assistance to clients and the volunteer tax preparers at free tax preparation sites. Greeters welcome clients, provide required in-take documents and verify that all necessary documentation is on-hand and obtain signatures and other necessary information from the client. Depending on the location, greeters may also screen clients to verify appointment times and types of assistance needed, answer basic, non-tax related questions, provide assistance as needed in completing forms and shows clients the computers to use and how to log on to volunteer assisted self preparation terminals at select sites. As with all volunteer opportunities, Site Coordinators and Quality Reviewers must comply with all standards and expectations for volunteer ethics and integrity, ensures confidentiality of client information, and will not accept – nor permit others to accept – compensation for services provided. This is a great way to help for those who are not able to go through the training to become a volunteer income tax preparer.
Volunteer Income Tax Preparer
Volunteer Income Tax Prepares are the heart of the free income tax program. These volunteers prepare and electronically file client tax returns using on-line tax preparation software. Since understanding of tax law and proficiency in using tax preparation software is required, all Volunteer Income Tax Preparers are trained through a program of on-line and classroom training in order to pass an IRS certification test at the “Basic” or higher level. After preparing a client’s taxes, volunteers preparers will have their work “quality reviewed” by others prior to electronic filing. At many sites across the state, volunteer income tax preparers will be trained to provide basic financial coaching to clients and share information to help clients build financial stability. As with all volunteers, volunteer income tax preparers must comply with all standards and expectations for volunteer ethics and integrity, ensure confidentiality of client information and must not, – nor permit others to accept – compensation for services provided. This is a great opportunity for people that want to learn more about taxes, like using computers, want to learn how to preparer taxes and like to help people!
Site Coordinator and Quality Reviewer
Site Coordinators and Quality Reviewers assists volunteers with questions on tax returns, sometimes welcome clients to site and at times assists with intake forms. This is an excellent opportunity for a more seasoned volunteer, someone with professional credentials (i.e. Enrolled Agent, Certified Public Accountant, etc.) or someone with strong leadership skills and/or tax knowledge. These volunteers will complete reviews of assigned tax returns to ensure accuracy, completeness, and consistency with client information and documentation. They are also responsible for complying with all procedures and standards for quality review with the goal of ensuring error free tax filings. As a leader at a tax site, these volunteers will provides feedback to tax preparers regarding errors, identify corrective actions, tracks the volunteer hours at the site and provide referrals to other services as appropriate. Volunteers are requires to have a strong understanding of tax law and proficiency in using tax preparation software acquired through completion of a program of on-line and classroom training and passing of IRS certification test at “Advanced” or higher level. Prior volunteer tax preparer experience preferred and meets the requirement for continuation education credits for some professional certification. As with all volunteer opportunities, Site Coordinators and Quality Reviewers must comply with all standards and expectations for volunteer ethics and integrity, ensure confidentiality of client information, and will not accept – nor permit others to accept – compensation for services provided.
If you speak a language second to English, this might be the volunteer opportunity for you. Interpreters translates information gathered from non-English speaking clients to volunteer tax preparers in order to complete income tax returns and ensures understanding and accurate interpretation of information exchanged between clients and tax preparers. Interperters will read and translate documents for clients to verify information and accuracy of tax forms. As with all volunteer opportunities, Interpreters must comply with all standards and expectations for volunteer ethics and integrity, ensure confidentiality of client information, and will not accept – nor permit others to accept – compensation for services provided. In communities that are more diverse and/or have a large immigrant or migrant worker population, volunteer interpreters do yeoman’s job of helping to ensure every family in the community has access to free income tax preparation services.
Interested in Volunteering, fill out the form below!