Pike Extension extends call for tax volunteers

Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2018

The offer is still on the table at the Pike County Extension Office.

And the offer is a unique opportunity for anyone who has an interest in lending a helping hand to those who need assistance in preparing their 2017 tax returns.

Katie Thomas, Pike County Extension coordinator, said the offer was extended in late November and the response has been good but volunteers are still needed to meet the needs. “Being a tax volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is an opportunity to provide a special service to the community,” Thomas said. “In addition to making a difference by doing for others, a tax volunteer also learns to prepare taxes. A tax volunteer receives the training necessary to help provide free tax help for low to moderate income families that need assistance preparing their tax returns.”

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To volunteer, Thomas said it is not necessary to have extensive knowledge of tax law. You can also choose a volunteer role that does not require tax law certification, such as tax preparer and greeter/screener. “A tax preparer provides free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers using electronic filing software. Tax law certification is required for this role.

“A tax greeter/screener determines the type of assistance needed and confirms the person has the necessary documents to have their tax returns completed. Tax law certification is not required for this position.”

Thomas said every filing season tax volunteers make a difference in their communities by preparing millions of tax returns. “More than 3.5 millions returns were prepared in 2016 and VITA has the potential to prepare more free returns this season. However, to do so, tax volunteers are needed.”

Being a tax volunteer has it own rewards. Those who have the time and interest will be the beneficiary of those rewards, Thomas said.

Local volunteers will work with the Pike County Extension Office.

For more information or to volunteer, call Thomas at 334-566-0985 or visit the Pike County Extension Office at 306 South Three Notch Street in Troy.