In its 14th year, United Way's Free Tax Preparation program (a.k.a. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA) offers FREE tax help to people who make $66,000 or less.
Free tax preparation continues to be the nation’s leading anti-poverty tool, and helps families access the supplemental income necessary to provide basic needs for their children. Our program focuses on making sure families access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and other credits important to young children and their families struggling with low income.
Since its inception, our Free Tax Program has helped save local families more than $3 million in filing fees and costs, as well as securing $47 million in refunds and valuable tax credits for tens of thousands of families.
IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified families and individuals. We provide all the training you will need and have many volunteer opportunities available! This year, we are providing tax help for:
- Families and individuals:
Walk into a tax site and inquire about open time slots for in-person filing. First come, first served basis with no guarantee of availability. Wait times will vary.
Volunteers prepare tax returns for households with low-income at our tax site locations under the direction and guidance of the site coordinator. Volunteers interview the taxpayers to ensure that all necessary documentation is present, and that the taxpayer understands their role in the tax preparation process. Volunteers enter taxpayer information into a tax software specifically designed to prepare taxes. After the return has been entered, another volunteer completes a quality review of the return and has the taxpayer review and sign any necessary forms.
Volunteers may be asked to perform other tasks by the site coordinator like completing quality reviews and occasionally greeting taxpayers as they arrive.
No experience necessary! Will be required to pass the Advanced IRS test (open book exam at the training provided by United Way).
For more information, contact Pam Chittick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the time commitment?
You can choose a weekly shift that works for you! There are a number of shift options to choose from. Volunteers commit to attending a weekly, 3-4 hour shift during tax season.
New tax volunteers are required to attend a Tuesday evening, Thursday evening, and a Saturday of in-person training. Volunteers learn the essentials of tax law and the program’s tax software. Training takes place at United Way of Snohomish County (3120 McDougall Ave, Everett) in December. Various training dates are available.
All volunteers (new & returning) must pass the Advanced IRS certification exam prior to volunteering. The test typically takes new volunteers between 1.5-3 hours to complete, but not to worry! We will provide ample training prior to the test. It is open book, and untimed. There are multiple opportunities for in-person support while taking the test, too!
Can I choose which site I volunteer at?
Yes! Visit getconnected.uwsc.org. You can sign up to volunteer at any of our tax site locations. Find the right position, location, and hours for you!
I don't have any tax prep experience. Can I still be a volunteer?
Absolutely! We provide in-depth training and require all volunteers (including Tax Counselors) to pass an IRS-certified tax preparation test. Don’t worry—we provide training and support to all volunteers to ensure they feel comfortable in their roles.
Can I get college credit as a tax prep volunteer?
Sometimes, yes. Want to find out if your school is participating? Email email@example.com and find out.