Community Action Seeking Volunteers For Tax Preparation

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 11/12/2017 12:29:07 AM
Modified: 11/12/2017 12:29:08 AM

West Lebanon — Southeastern Vermont Community Action is looking for volunteers to help prepare taxes for low-income individuals and families as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The IRS-sponsored program trains and supports volunteers to provide free tax support for people in need. Susan Brace, former program coordinator for Southeastern Vermont Community Action, said volunteers do not need any accounting experience since all necessary training is provided.  

“I look for people who have prepared their own tax returns and are comfortable learning new things,” Brace said in a telephone interview. “They also need to be compassionate and able to deal with all sorts of people, since sometimes people are in distress if they’re nervous about their taxes.”

Community Action will hold two volunteer orientation sessions on Nov. 17, at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., at the Kilton Public Library Community Room, 80 Main St., West Lebanon.

Volunteers are asked to commit three to four hours a week during the 11 weeks of tax season, from the beginning of February and mid-April. The work is done at locations in Windsor and White River Junction. There are also required training sessions ahead of tax season that volunteers must attend.

Last year, Southeastern Vermont Community Action helped prepare more than 400 tax returns. The organization can help with state and federal returns for both Vermont and New Hampshire residents. Brace said the program is designed to make sure that people who can’t afford professional tax preparation are still getting all the credits they are entitled to.

“The earned income tax credit and other credits are one of the primary anti-poverty programs that exist in this country,” she said. Each prepared return is reviewed by a second volunteer to ensure that no credits or deductions were missed.

Brace said the program benefits not just the people who get help preparing their taxes, but the entire Upper Valley.

“It really does recirculate money into the Upper Valley economy by getting folks refunds and credits that they’re eligible for,” she said.

For more information, contact Leslie Wood at lwood@sevca.org or 802-722-4575, ext. 199.




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