IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Looking for Volunteer Tax Preparers

By: United Way of Porter County Last Updated: November 10, 2011

Training provided online through the IRS "Link and Learn" program for becoming a certified tax preparer to aid elderly and low-to-moderate-income taxpayers

For the second year, the United Way Regional Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers to prepare taxes for elderly and low-to-moderate-income taxpayers. Training will be available online by the Internal Revenue Service beginning Nov. 14 for the 2011 Tax season, said George Kuebler, VITA facilitator for Porter County, with the United Way Regional Volunteer Center.

"Key to the success of the program is having volunteer tax preparers to accommodate the increasing number of people who need no-cost tax preparation," added Kuebler. "Last year the VITA volunteers prepared taxes for more than 200 tax clients," he said. "In addition to welcoming those volunteers back, additional volunteers are desired so the service can be offered to more people who need it."

Volunteer opportunities include offering tax preparation to qualifying people or serving as a greeter/intake person gathering initial information to begin the tax preparation process.

Volunteers have the opportunity to learn the tax preparation program and become certified online. IRS provides free tax law training, e-file training and all the materials needed to prepare basic individual income tax returns.

"The learning/certification program is interactive and can be done with a home computer at your own pace. It doesn't have to be completed in one sitting," according to Kuebler.

In addition to training online, an in-person training session will be held December 15 at the United Way of Porter County.

Actual tax preparation will be done from late January through the April tax deadline at the United Way office in Valparaiso. LIVE UNITED by becoming a VITA volunteer and provide FREE tax assistance to the elderly and low-to-moderate-income residents.

For more information about the program, contact George Kuebler at the United Way Regional Volunteer Center, 219 464-3583 x 128, or email at: george@unitedwaypc.org. More information about the program is available on the web at: www.nwivolunteer.org and click the VITA tab. Also, a link has been provided to download the required application and volunteer agreement forms to participate in the program.