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James Prendergast Library
Prendergast Library will host training on Saturdays beginning Nov. 7 for volunteers who would like to serve as tax preparers, greeters or translators at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites next winter.
Tax law training sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 7, 14, and 21 plus Dec. 12 and 19 at the library. No prior experience is necessary for tax preparers, greeters, or translators, and all volunteers receive training appropriate for their position.
The Chautauqua County VITA Coalition works with the Internal Revenue Service to provide free, basic income tax preparation services to community members with low-to-moderate incomes.
Trained volunteer tax preparers explain credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and help individuals complete and electronically file their tax returns. There is no charge for this service, and refunds can be deposited directly into a bank account within seven to 10 days.
Volunteers can help boost a family’s yearly income by up to 35 percent and have a direct impact on the lives of working families and the communities in which they live.
In addition to the training sessions provided, volunteers receive materials for self-study on basic income tax law for federal and state returns. When following the Volunteer Standards of Conduct, all volunteers are covered under the Volunteer Protection Act and are not accountable for tax returns filed to the IRS.
Greeters are also needed to create a welcoming atmosphere at VITA sites and help check in families or individuals accessing VITA services. While tax training is not required, a positive attitude is critical to being effective as a greeter.
VITA also seeks volunteer translators for clients who speak English as a second language. The greatest need is for translators fluent in Spanish.
For more information, or to sign up, call the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at 483-1561 or Rose Ann Lancione, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Coordinator, at 467-3636.