Volunteers sought for tax preparation

Training provided, no previous experience needed

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance helps lower-income households file their tax returns for free, enabling them to receive the tax credits they’ve earned. Last year, VITA volunteers prepared and filed nearly 250 tax returns in Hamilton County. New volunteer tax preparers are needed to maintain and expand that outreach.

Training is provided and no previous tax experience is necessary. In addition to tax preparers, volunteer site hosts/managers are also sought.

To learn more about being a VITA volunteer, contact Barb Wollan at Hamilton County Extension, 832-9597, or bwollan@iastate.edu. Wollan, who is herself a VITA volunteer, reports that “assisting taxpayers is both rewarding and fun, and our terrific team members always provide strong support and back-up for each other.”

Tax preparation volunteers receive IRS-sponsored training through VITA, and are provided the materials, equipment and software necessary to prepare basic income tax returns. Trained volunteers are certified by the IRS and have technical support available when needed. All volunteers (tax preparers and hosts) must be committed to confidentiality.

Once trained, tax volunteers will assist individuals and families in Hamilton County with preparing their tax returns. Tax preparation is done by appointment at community sites on weekdays and Saturdays, so volunteers can find a time that fits their schedule.

Local tax preparation projects currently receive modest funding through the Iowa Center for Economic Success.