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Call for Volunteers: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Volunteer Opportunity: Just-A-Start Corporation is looking for volunteers to assist with a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. Preparers will become certified through the IRS to prepare tax returns for low and moderate income families. Our site will operate at 402 Rindge Ave, preparing returns for Just-A-Start residents and training program students, as well as other community members.

The Need: The Earned Income Tax Credit is the largest anti-poverty program in existence today, annually lifting millions of families above the poverty line. In Cambridge, the federal EITC returned more than $7.5 million to low-income families in 2015, while a newly-increased state-level credit allows filers to receive an additional refund on their Massachusetts taxes. Yet 20% of eligible filers do not claim the tax credit, and many who file with high-cost professional preparers lose a portion of their refund to fees. Our VITA site will prepare returns free of charge for families who qualify and ensure that all eligible filers receive their credits. The tax site will also be open to anyone who qualifies (generally, any individual earning less than $54,000 per year).

The Position: Volunteer Tax Preparers will work with the site coordinator to prepare and review returns for clients. Tax Preparers must complete training and pass an IRS certification exam before the tax season starts. The training, which can be done online or in person, takes a total of about eight hours. We welcome both experienced tax preparers and those with no experience – but all volunteers will need to be comfortable working with computers (we will train you on our software) and interacting with clients in a professional and discreet manner.

The Site: The Tax Site will be located within the apartment tower at 402 Rindge Avenue, convenient to the Alewife T Station and with on-site parking. We will be open Tuesdays 1-5, Thursdays 430-830 and Saturdays 11-3 from January 28th through April 18th.

Contact: Katy Gall, Financial Capability Program Coordinator, or 617-918-7525 ext. 325