Community volunteers needed to provide free tax help in Hawaii

| November 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Internal Revenue Service
News Release

 

HONOLULU — Last year, more than 500 Hawaii residents gave back to their communities as volunteers and provided free tax services by preparing more than 16,500 federal and state individual income tax returns through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

“The IRS and its partners are looking for volunteers that are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal income tax returns for free,” said IRS spokesperson David Tucker II. “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple tax returns for people whose incomes are $50,000 or less. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested and wants to help give back to their community.”

Anyone can be a volunteer, and bilingual volunteers are particularly needed. Volunteers can help in three separate capacities:

•Return preparer.

•Site coordinator (site supervisor or site manager).

•Greeter.

Site coordinators (supervisors) may also prepare returns. Greeters will generally also answer simple questions and distribute forms.

Volunteers will be provided with free training materials on how to prepare basic individual income tax returns and, in most cases, how to file them electronically. Instruction will cover both federal and Hawaii state tax returns.

Training is usually held between November and January, and volunteers generally study online with Link & Learn Taxes to obtain their volunteer certification. The Link & Learn program is an interactive course that teaches all of the basics needed to prepare simple income tax returns accurately for individuals.

Classroom training may also be available.

Once certified, volunteers spend as little as three to four hours per week volunteering between the months of February and April.

Millions of people received assistance through VITA/TCE programs last year.

How to Help

More information about IRS volunteer tax preparation programs are available at www.IRS.gov, keywords Tax Volunteer. Email taxvolunteer@irs.gov or contact any of the following organizations:

•AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.You can sign up to volunteer at its website at www.aarp.org/taxvolunteer.

•HACBED (Hawai`i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development). Call 381-0881 or visit www.hawaiitaxhelp.org.

•Legal Aid Society of Hawaii is Hawaii’s oldest and largest nonprofit law firm. Every year it assists individuals to file their state and federal tax returns based on income eligibility. Legal Aid relies on volunteers to help run the program.

Call 527-8076 or visit www.legalaidhawaii.org.

•Goodwill Industries of Hawaii. Email LLau@higoodwill.org.

•Leeward Community College Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Call 455-0294 or visit www2.hawaii.edu/~kamida.

 

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