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Volunteer Registration for New Volunteers will open early December 2017

Community Tax Aid mobilizes a volunteer corps of more than 500 community members committed to providing high quality free tax preparation assistance and promoting financial stability for hard-working families.

We are looking for volunteers who:

  • Have strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
  • Speak, read, and understand English proficiently. (Preparers must be fluent.)
  • Have the patience to understand and answer questions that clients may have.
  • Are comfortable working with a diverse population.
  • Can commit to one, four-hour session a week from the end of January through April 18.

To return to the main Volunteers page, click here .

Tax Site Volunteer Role Descriptions:

Client Coordinator

The Client Coordinator ensures that taxpayers have brought all documents needed to prepare their tax return and that they qualify for free tax assistance. Client Coordinators perform an initial screening for eligibility and help clients start the required intake documents. After the returns are completed, Client Coordinators review outcomes with the taxpayers, provide the taxpayers with copies of their completed returns, and ensure that all their questions are answered.

  • Client Coordinators must have strong interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Client Coordinators must pay close attention to detail and be able to follow instructions for final file assembly.
  • Client Coordinator must attend one four-hour class in January.
  • Client Coordinators are required to take and pass the online IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSC) training and pass the online VSC certification test, and to take Intake and Interview training and pass the IRS test online.
  • Client Coordinators are encouraged to attend a Basic Tax Law training session to increase their understanding of the tax process, but they do not have to pass IRS tax preparer certification tests.

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Tax Preparers

Tax Preparers work one-on-one with our clients preparing their federal and state income tax returns and ensuring that they receive all the credits and tax benefits for which they are eligible. Tax Preparers will also be expected to provide assistance with client intake and exit, and may also be needed to serve as Client Coordinators, or in other capacities depending on the needs of the site on any given day.

  • Preparers must have good computer skills and a strong attention to detail.
  • Preparers must speak, read, and understand English fluently.
  • Preparers need excellent customer service skills, and the patience to understand and answer questions from clients about the tax preparation process and their tax situation.
  • Preparers must also be willing to fill in for other roles at the tax sites, such as Client Coordinator.
  • Prior tax preparation experience, or having prepared your own returns, is helpful. All volunteers will be trained by CTA and complete the IRS Certification process in January.
  • All preparers must pass the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam, IRS Intake & Interviwe exam and the IRS tax preparation certification exam.
  • First year tax preparers must complete three, four-hour classes,  in January, and complete additional on-line prerequisite training.
  • Returning preparers are strongly encouraged to certify at the Advanced level.

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Facilitated Self-Assistance (FSA) Coach

FSA Coaches assist taxpayers preparing their own returns using free online tax preparation software. The FSA site may be stand-alone, or collocated with a traditional VITA site (where the volunteer prepares the tax return for the taxpayer).

  • FSA Coaches must have good computer skills and a strong attention to detail.
  • FSA Coaches must speak, read, and understand English fluently.
  • FSA Coaches need excellent customer service skills, and the patience to understand and answer questions from clients about the tax preparation process and their tax situation.
  • All FSA Coaches must pass the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam, the IRS Intake & Interview exam and the IRS tax preparation certification exam.
  • If you are interested in being an FSA Coach, send email to fsa@communitytaxaiddc.org.

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SNAP/Food Stamp Outreach Specialist

SNAP Outreach Specialists provide information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the food stamp program), screen clients for eligibility, and help clients complete SNAP applications. Volunteers will also provide clients with information and materials on other food resources and programs available to District residents.

  • SNAP Outreach Specialists should be enthusiastic, outgoing, compassionate, and willing to engage clients in a discussion about public benefits programs.
  • Previous experience with SNAP is not required.
  • Volunteers are strongly encouraged (though not required) to commit to a weekly timeslot (generally three to four hours) during the 11-week tax season at one of the DC sites where the SNAP outreach opportunity is offered.
  • SNAP Outreach Specialists will attend a 3 hour training in January (arranged by DC Hunger Solutions), and will be will be supported by DC Hunger Solutions staff throughout their volunteer sessions.
  • SNAP Outreach Specialists are required to take and pass the online IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSC) training and pass the online VSC certification test.

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Greeter

Greeters welcome clients and assist them by orienting them to the process at the tax site. Greeters also work with the Site Coordinators to manage the flow of clients through the sites.

  • Greeters are required to take and pass the online IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSC) training and pass the online VSC certification test.
  • Greeters must be outgoing, organized, and have excellent customer service skills.
  • Greeters can deal effectively with interruptions and competing tasks.
  • Greeters can manage a crowd with effective communication and remain calm while still being organized.
  • Greeters must be willing to assist the Site Coordinator in the managing the flow of visitors to the tax site.
  • Greeters help determine whether an interpreter will be necessary.

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Volunteer Reviewer*

Reviewers have volunteered as tax prepares with VITA/TCE for several years and have been identified as someone who has the skills to be responsible for ensuring that returns are accurate and complete. After preparation, every tax return is reviewed by a Reviewer who must complete the mandated quality review forms before a tax return is released to a client or filed electronically.

*This position is generally filled by individuals formally identified by CTA prior to the tax season.  If you have not been contacted by CTA and are interested in this position, send an email to miren@communitytaxaiddc.org.

  • Reviewers must pass the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam, the IRS Intake & Interview exam, and pass the IRS tax preparation certification exam at the Advanced level.
  • Reviewers must complete training at the Experienced volunteer level, and take the What’s New and Tricky class. New Reviewers must attend the Review Fundamentals class.
  • Reviewers must have at least two-year’s experience preparing individual income tax returns for individual income tax preparation experience for low-income taxpayers.
  • Reviewers must have good computer skills and a strong attention to detail.
  • Reviewers must speak, read, and understand English fluently.
  • Reviewers need excellent customer service skills, and the patience to understand and answer questions from clients about the tax preparation process and their tax situation.
  • First year Reviewers must attend Fundamentals of Review.

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Site Coordinator*

Site Coordinators are responsible for overseeing the operations at a tax site, ensuring that all required procedures are followed and that the site is in compliance with all IRS requirements. They are responsible for managing the workflow at the site and assigning volunteers as needed to ensure efficient operation of the tax site.

*This position is generally filled by individuals formally identified by CTA prior to the tax season.  If you have not been contacted by CTA and are interested in this position, send an email to miren@communitytaxaiddc.org.

  • Site Coordinators should have previous experience working at a volunteer income tax site and have a basic understanding of the tax preparation process.
  • Site Coordinators must complete Site Coordinator training, IRS Intake and Review Training, Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSC) training, and pass the VSC certification test. Site Coordinators with efiling duties must complete additional training.
  • Site Coordinators need strong interpersonal skills, experience providing services to low-income individuals.
  • Site Coordinators must be dependable, self-directed, detail oriented, organized, efficient, and able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment