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Volunteer

VITA Virtual Tax Preparation Volunteer

Start date: January 4, 2021
Last updated 

BACKGROUND: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. 

SCOPE OF WORK: The IRC operates a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide FREE tax preparation services to individuals and families with incomes below the national average who would like to get the most out of their tax return.  Last tax season, the IRC in San Diego’s VITA Volunteers completed more than 2,200 returns and helped our community receive more than $3.5 million in refunds. As a tax preparation volunteer, you will provide important support to individuals and families with incomes below the national average by guiding them through the tax preparation process and connecting them with other IRC resources when appropriate. You will work one-on-one with clients supporting them in navigating the ins and outs of tax preparation. This program is offering services to clients in the IRC office located in San Diego, CA. 

NO PREVIOUS TAX EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! If chosen as a volunteer, the IRC will provide you with training that results in your certification as a volunteer income tax preparer. This training involves a self-directed online curriculum combined with support from IRC staff. This is an excellent opportunity to gain skills in tax preparation while providing support to families and individuals that can benefit from your expertise. 

***Our VITA program will mostly likely be conducted in an online, remote format this year. This means you can join from anywhere in the US! However, this is subject to change and more details will be released closer to the start of the VITA program in January 2021. 

VOLUNTEER BENEFITS:  

  • Volunteer will gain training and experience in tax preparation and customer service. 
  • Volunteer will obtain certification as a volunteer income tax preparer. 
  • Volunteer will have opportunities to connect with fellow volunteers and IRC staff with similar interests and career goals. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:  

  • Prior to start date: 
    • Complete tax preparation training online and pass the IRS VITA certification exam at the advanced level 
    • Attend IRC Volunteer Orientation 
    • Communicate promptly with Volunteer Coordinator and VITA Supervisor 
  • While serving: 
    • Prepare Federal and State tax returns for refugee communities and individuals and families with incomes below the national average, most likely online via Zoom 
    • Greet clients and provide a safe and comfortable environment for them 
    • Perform quality reviews to ensure returns are prepared correctly 
    • Communicate promptly with VITA Supervisor any changes in schedule or other needs 

TIME REQUIREMENTS: Tax Preparation Volunteers are expected to commit to at least 6 hours of tax preparation per week for the duration of the 2021 Tax Season (January-April 2021). Volunteers may choose from the shifts below: 

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 
    • 10 AM-1 PM (PST) 
    • 1 PM-4 PM (PST) 
  • Tuesday, Thursday 
    • 1 PM-4 PM (PST) 
    • 4 PM-7 PM (PST) 

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:  

  • Must be 18 years of age or older 
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English 
  • Access to laptop, computer, or other device suitable for tax preparation assistance with access to reliable wi-fi connection 
  • Familiarity with technology and computer skills 
  • Second language skills a plus (Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, or another refugee language) 
  • Customer service experience a plus 
  • Experience working with refugee and immigrant communities and diverse and/or multicultural groups a plus 
  • No tax experience necessary – training to be provided 
  • Background check clearance 

This position reports to Hayder Almodares, Senior Asset Building Specialist. 

To apply to this position, please fill out an IRC Volunteer Application here and indicate that you are applying to the San Diego Office and which position you are applying for. If we would like to move forward with your application, we will reach out to schedule an interview.