NEWBERRY — The Cooperative Ministry in partnership with Newberry Literacy Council is seeking volunteer tax preparers and greeters to help staff their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) at their Newberry tax site during the 2018 tax season.
With the support of IRS certified volunteer tax preparers, VITA sites provide free tax preparation to individuals and families earning less than $54,000 per year. This income cap qualifies roughly 60 percent of Newberry residents for free tax preparation.
Last year, Newberry Literacy Council completed 173 tax returns, refunding over $65,000 back into the local community. These were basic returns completed by Newberry residents. To help even more taxpayers this year, the Cooperative Ministry is looking for additional volunteers to go through their free tax training program.
“Volunteers want to strengthen our community and our volunteers enjoy giving back in a very tangible way,” said Jessica Grote, VITA director at the Cooperative Ministry. “Volunteers sharpen their current skills and develop new ones. There is something intriguing about helping people with their taxes, which keeps our volunteers coming back year after year.”
Free volunteer training provided by IRS community partners begins in November and December. New volunteers are invited to attend classroom instruction that is suitable for beginners with no prior tax knowledge. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is available.
Site operation hours vary, but each volunteer is asked to volunteer regularly for at least one three-hour shift per week from late January until April 15, 2018. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, but all volunteers need to be comfortable working with a computer.
“Volunteers are the heart of our program, as our lines remain long as thousands of people show up every tax season,” said Grote. “The amazing result is thousands of tax returns prepared and millions of dollars returned to the pockets of working families. How else can you save a neighbor hundreds of dollars in just an hour’s time?”
Learn more at www.coopmin.org/how-we-help/vita/