VITA Volunteer Information

 

Be a part of bringing more than 3 million dollars in returns back to Saginaw County

Free tax preparation is available to Saginaw County residents who cannot afford to pay to have their taxes prepared for them thanks to the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and amazing community volunteers. This program aims to help families avoid high tax prep fees, access all credits they are eligible for and connect families to services and programs that will help them increase their financial stability.
 
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a United Way of Saginaw County program that provides free tax preparation and electronic filing for low-to-moderate income taxpayers. Our volunteers help to bring in millions of dollars in tax refunds to Saginaw County residents. All VITA volunteers receive free training to become IRS certified. Tax preparer training is a combination of lecture covering tax law changes and hands-on computer training, held in the Delta College computer labs. All training and materials are provided at no cost to the volunteer. Each volunteer must pass all certification testing with 80% or higher.
 
Our volunteers must have the following qualifications:
  • Experience with computers (for tax preparers) 
  • Be detail oriented
  • An ability to interact with a diverse public population
  • An ability to work in a distracting setting with many interruptions
 
The following outline the responsibilities of VITA Greeters:
  • Volunteer for a minimum of one 3-hour shift per week during tax season
  • Attend 1 2-hour training at the United Way of Saginaw County in January
  • Screen incoming clients before their session with a Tax Preparer
  • Certify in the following courses by achieving an 80% or better:
    • Volunteer Standards of Conduct
  • Screen incoming clients to ensure they have necessary identification and tax documentation before their session with a Tax Preparer
 
The following outline the responsibilities of VITA Tax Preparers:
  • Volunteer for a minimum of one 3-hour shift per week during tax season, although it is preferred that tax prep volunteers work a whole day (6 hours) as it is less disruptive to the site’s operation.
  • Attend 3 days of preparer training in January at Delta College
  • Complete Publication 5101, Intake/Interview & Quality Review Process Training
  • Certify in the following courses by achieving an 80% or better:
    • Volunteer Standards of Conduct
    • Intake/Interview and Quality Review
    • Advanced tax law
    • Any specialty courses that you are interested in
  • Complete Publication 5101, Intake/Interview & Quality Review Process Training 
  • Arrive at site 30 minutes before opening
  • Assist with site set-up and/or take-down if necessary 
  • Prepare only returns that are within your certification level and within the scope of the VITA Program 
  • Provide high-quality tax return preparation to all taxpayers 
  • Interview all taxpayers using Form 13614-C, Intake/Interview and Quality Review, to determine if all income, deductions and allowable credits are claimed; include the taxpayer when preparing their return 
  • Ensure due diligence by advising the taxpayer that he/she is ultimately responsible for the information on their return 
  • Accept no compensation of any kind for the volunteer services provided 
  • Adhere to Title VI by not denying service to anyone based on race, color, sex, age, national origin or disability  
  • Treat all customers in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner
  • Maintain confidentiality of all taxpayer information – both on-site and off-site

LIVE UNITED by volunteering!

For information on how you can help Saginaw County residents achieve financial stability, contact the offices of the United Way of Saginaw County at 989 755 0505 ext. 213 or at americorps@unitedwaysaginaw.org