The Connected Nation Blog: Your Computer Skills Help Lighten the Tax Load

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Your Computer Skills Help Lighten the Tax Load

You have the power to help make the IRS experience a lot less taxing this year.

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for volunteers to assist in preparing tax returns for 2011 at various sponsored sites throughout the state. It’s called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

Individuals with good computer skills are especially needed to assist in preparing and transmitting returns electronically through the IRS E-file program. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. All volunteers receive tax training in cooperation with community partners and the IRS.

Volunteers are needed as Return Preparers, Site Coordinators, and Greeters.
Training is held in 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 the steps needed to prepare basic individual income tax returns accurately. Classroom training is also available.  Once certified, volunteers spend as little as three to four hours per week from early February through mid-April working with people in need of VITA services.

Last year, volunteers helped more than 9,100 Nevada taxpayers receive more than $3 million from the Earned Income Tax Credit and distributed more than $11.7 million in total refunds. However, the IRS estimates that approximately 20-25% of the Earned Income Tax Credit is left unclaimed. Come help families in your community!
In Reno, Orientation is scheduled at United Way/Join Together Northern Nevada, 811 Ryland Street at 12:30 pm and at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Both are one hour long.

To sign up go to Keyword: VITA, or please contact Mike Lee, United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra at 775 325-8913. More information about the IRS volunteer tax preparation programs is available at