Last year, in New Mexico more than 600 New Mexico residents gave back to their communities as volunteers that provided free tax services by preparing more than 42,700 Federal and state of New Mexico individual income tax returns through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs.
“The IRS and its partners are looking for volunteers that are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal and state income tax returns for free,” IRS spokesperson Julia Lara said. “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple, non-business tax returns for people with low to moderate incomes. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested and wants to help give back to their community.”
Anyone can be a volunteer and bilingual volunteers are particularly needed. Volunteers can help in various capacities:
- Return Preparer
- Site Coordinator (Site Supervisor or Site Manager)
- Quality Reviewer
Site coordinators may also prepare returns. Volunteers will be provided with free training materials on how to prepare basic individual income tax returns and how to file them electronically. Instruction will cover both federal and State of New Mexico individual income tax returns.
Training is usually held between November and 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 all of the basics needed to prepare simple income tax returns accurately for individuals. Classroom training may may be available.
Once certified, volunteers can spend as little as three to four hours per week volunteering between the months of February and April. Last year, New Mexico families received more than $46 million in federal refunds using the VITA/TCE programs to prepare their taxes.
To volunteer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the following organizations:
- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide – You can sign up to volunteer at their website at: www.aarp.org/taxvolunteer
- Tax Help New Mexico – You can contact Jeffery Ledbetter of the United Way of Central New Mexico at: email@example.com
More information about the IRS volunteer tax preparation program is available at www.IRS.gov, keywords ‘Tax Volunteer’.