Learn how easy it is to get started developing a free tax preparation program on site
Understanding what free tax preparation is and promoting it are a great first step. But you may want to expand your outreach to include providing free in-person tax prep services on site. Doing this can be as simple as providing computer access for customers or as involved as hiring and training tax coaches to assist customers. Learn more about the options for developing your own free tax preparation program.
Provide computer access to taxpayers
- Partner with local VITA/Tax coalition to offer space within your facility for FREE tax prep by their trained volunteers on site
- Provide computer access on site through your computer lab or resource center with desktop links to free online self tax-preparation sites for individuals to utilize during set hours
Partner with IRS to implement VITA on-site:
- Set up a VITA site in your facility
- Connect with IRS SPEC Representative for help setting up program and accessing IRS resources. This contact information is typically known by the region’s tax coalition and VITA sites
- Become an IRS Partner to help in your community
- Provide a Tax Coach or other trained volunteer onsite
Taxpayers who choose to file their own taxes for free may receive assistance from a VITA certified Tax Coach. A Tax Coach can help ensure that all questions are answered prior to e-filing the return. Learn more about the role a Tax Coach can play in supporting a filer and how your organization can host a tax coach on site.
Scott Tolen was introduced to MyFreeTaxes.com at L.A.’s Abilities Expo. When a representative at the MyFreeTaxes booth learned he never prepared his own taxes and hadn’t filed for the year, she introduced him to veteran MyFreeTaxes tax coach Jeffrey Louie, who operates out of the Verdugo Jobs Center in Glendale, California.
Tolen admitted, at first, the MyFreeTaxes.com homepage was challenging. But with Louie’s encouragement, Tolen was navigating the website like a pro. “It was much easier than I thought,” Tolen said. “I prepared my taxes, filed, and I got my refund in 14 days. That’s the fastest I’ve ever received one.”
Louie agrees that MyFreeTaxes.com is a valuable resource for people with disabilities beyond the fact that is free. “It’s important to get the word out that it’s a learning tool to help people know what’s available to them,” he said. “If you’re organized, your taxes should be easy. MyFreeTaxes.com simplifies things further. Most people come away from the experience saying, ‘Wow, that was painless.’”
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