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Volunteer Roles

Descriptions of each volunteer role.

Greeters

Greeters welcome taxpayers as they enter the VITA site located in Room 10-B Ferguson Building (basement). Their tasks are to: greet taxpayers and sign them in, issue a parking pass as needed, verify that the taxpayer meets the income guidelines and does not have any tax matters that is out of scope for the site, review taxpayers’ paperwork to make certain they have all necessary documents, keep the waiting area running smoothly, set-up the waiting area, display and remove directional street signs. This position is also responsible for directing taxpayers’ to free financial education resources in the waiting area.

Schedulers

Answer the telephone and record the time taxpayers would like to come to the VITA site to get their returns completed. 

 

Shift Supervisors

Review completed returns prepared by tax preparers using the IRS-Quality Reviewer Checklist before the return is printed and reviewed with the taxpayer.  Shift supervisors also assist tax preparers as needed while they are completing tax returns, circulate in the site and answer questions as needed and collect completed returns and take them to the site coordinator for safe storage and electronic submission.  Shift supervisors must have at least one year of experience at the Penn State-UP VITA site or another VITA location that can be verified.

 

Student  Liaisons

Serve as a student contact between student volunteers in their respective areas (law, accounting/business) and the site coordinator.  Liaisons market the program in their areas, assist with meetings and in arranging meeting space, provide input on site operations from a volunteers’ perspective and in short, assist the site coordinator in ways to insure that the program is running smoothly and that everyone (volunteers and taxpayers) is having a pleasant experience. Liaisons are identified at the end of each filing season so they are in place at the beginning of the academic year.

 

Tax Preparers

Tax preparers complete returns.  They will be trained using IRS Link and Learn and in-person training sessions to reinforce knowledge of basic tax law.  In addition tax preparers must be able to use the IRS provided software, TaxWise to complete tax returns. This volunteer effort gives individuals useful life skills and the opportunity to give back to the local community and make a difference in the lives of fellow citizens.

Hours needed to complete the training will depend on prior experience and understanding of personal income taxes.  Tax preparers are required to pass open-book IRS certification tests plus complete practice exercises that simulate situations typically encountered at the Penn State-UP VITA site.