Age Minimum (with Adult): 18+, Minimum Age:18+
Description: The Tax-Aide program provides free tax assistance and tax return preparation service to taxpayers of any age, whether they are AARP members or not. For 30 years, the local Tax-Aide team has helped thousands of low- to moderate-income taxpayers in Nevada and Sierra counties; last year alone over 1400 tax returns were prepared.
Volunteer Position Title: Counselor
Position Summary: Counselors provide tax assistance and tax return preparation service to taxpayers.
Location: Grass Valley, Lake Wildwood
Time Commitment/Schedule: Counselors are expected to volunteer at least one business day a week (Monday for Grass Valley and Wednesday for Lake Wildwood) during the tax season, usually from February 1 to April 15. Counselors may also be needed for two Saturdays, half-day, during the tax season at an ad hoc location for weekend taxpayer assistance. New Counselors are required to attend 12-16 hours of new Counselor training in early January. All Counselors are required to attend 20-30 additional hours of training in mid-late January.
Responsibilities and Duties:
In a highly supportive team environment and after receiving training, Counselors:
- Prepare tax forms and/or answer questions to the extent of their current tax training and certification, at tax assistance sites.
- Review tax returns prepared with taxpayers since taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of the return.
- Perform Quality Review of tax returns prepared by other Counselors.
- Record assistance given and Quality Review completed as per local processes and procedures.
- Maintain the strict confidentiality of, and protect the security of, all taxpayer information and records at all times.
- Adhere to program policies and procedures especially those established by the IRS and AARP Foundation.
- Promote and support the program through word-of-mouth.
- Counselors acquire tax knowledge through training classes and may also use the online training course along with other online resources (e.g. IRS documents, Tax-Aide reference manuals).
- Counselors will also be trained in program policy and to properly record assistance given on the activity log.
- Counselors must pass IRS specified tests for standards of conduct and tax knowledge/return preparation to be certified by the IRS for the purpose of providing tax assistance in this program.
- After certification, new Counselors will be provided a mentor until they demonstrate enough knowledge, skills and self-confidence to perform tax preparation on their own.
- Prior tax preparation experience and/or knowledge of tax preparation software is not necessary but is very helpful.
- Counselors must be skilled in the use of personal computers for online applications and data entry as well as information lookup and retrieval.
- Counselors must be comfortable working with clients one-on-one and face-to-face while performing services in real time.
- Counselors must be willing to take, and must demonstrate, a methodical, detailed approach to their work including following the local processes and procedures for tax preparation, quality review and record keeping.
- And, Counselors must enjoy working in a great team environment, receiving the gratitude of client taxpayers for the help provided and going home each day knowing that because of their hard work our clients have achieved a higher level of financial stability.
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