Volunteers needed for free community tax preparation services

Redwood Community Action Agency and the AARP Foundation are once again recruiting volunteers to greet clients and prepare tax returns in the local community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

Volunteers are needed for the 2013 tax season, which runs from mid-January to April 15. The VITA Program offers free tax preparation services for low-to-moderate income individuals and families throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties including locations in Eureka, Arcata, Ferndale, McKinleyville, Redway, Rio Dell, Fortuna, Loleta, Blue Lake, Hoopa, Willow Creek, Klamath, and Crescent City.

TCE also offers free tax preparation services for clients of all income levels, with a focus on senior citizens. This program provides services in Eureka, McKinleyville, Fortuna, and Crescent City. Volunteer tax preparers and greeters can make a difference in the community by helping families receive the credits they deserve, which will subsequently put money back into our local economy.

The agencies are looking to recruit tax preparers and the VITA Program is also looking for greeters. Volunteers will receive free training in January. No experience is necessary to apply and bilingual interpreters are encouraged.

Once certified, preparers can expect to spend three to 15 hours per week preparing returns, with flexible hours. Greeters, as well, can expect to spend similar amounts of time volunteering by welcoming clients, initiating paperwork, and providing referrals to community resources. This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to engage with the public, build their resume, and be a part of a rewarding and educational experience.

For more information about volunteering for the VITA Program, contact the VITA program coordinator, Lindsay Helms at (707) 269-2016. To volunteer with TCE, please call district coordinator John Holt at (707) 812-7066.