COLUMBUS — The Internal Revenue Service seeks local volunteers to assist low-income families and individuals as well as seniors in filing their 2016 tax returns and claim qualifying, valuable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free preparation of federal income tax returns to taxpayers with annual incomes up to $53,000. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax preparation and filing services with a focus on seniors 65 and older. AARP’s Tax-Aide program is the IRS’s major partner for its TCE program, both locally and nationwide.
Most volunteer tax preparation sites will operate from mid-January through mid-April 2016. Some sites will remain open beyond the April 18, 2016, tax return-filing deadline.
Volunteers join a program that has helped millions of people file tax returns at no charge for more than 40 years. No experience is required. Volunteers receive training on income tax preparation from IRS-certified instructors or via online courses. Volunteers are certified upon successful completion of the required training.
“VITA and TCE volunteers are friends and neighbors helping friends and neighbors in Shelby County and across the state and nation,” said Jennifer Jenkins, IRS spokesperson for Ohio. “We’re fortunate to have dedicated volunteers with partner organizations who come back year after year to support the VITA and TCE programs. Each year, though, we lose some volunteers to relocation, medical or other reasons. Sustaining 2015 volunteer levels would be great, but it would be even better if in 2016 the volunteer levels and number of taxpayers helped could grow.”
To become a VITA or TCE volunteer or to find out more, visit IRS.gov and type “tax volunteer” in the search box. Prospective VITA volunteers must submit their volunteer interest information on IRS.gov at IRS Tax Volunteers. Those seeking to assist with AARP’s Tax-Aide program can get more information on the AARP website at http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2006/volunteer_aarp_tax_aide.html. Volunteers can connect with the VITA coordinator for Shelby County, Sara Boling, at 937-404-9203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.