HELP IS ON THE WAY
A previous issue of this newsletter noted the lack of personnel at the Internal Revenue Service. This, in part, was the cause for the delay in processing tax returns. The IRS has recently addressed this problem.
According to a press release dated October 27, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service has announced the hiring of over 4,000 new staff members. These new employees, known as assistors, are customer service representatives who will man the IRS telephones. A major complaint of taxpayers and tax preparers was the delay in having someone, anyone, answer queries on tax issues and the status of refunds. These assistors should alleviate this problem.
In addition to new employees, the IRS expects to purchase new, upgraded equipment and software. The IRS can do all this thanks to a provision in the recently approved Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. In it is an $80 billion appropriation for the IRS, to be spread out over a ten-year period.
Training of the new assistors is continuing, and these new employees should be ready to commence their duties by Presidents’ Day of 2023. It successful, it should make for a more pleasant tax experience for all the next season.
CTA VOLUNTEER APPLICATION
To volunteer with CTA for our 2022-2023 tax season, please complete our volunteer application, which is available here: www.bit.ly/CTA-Volunteer-Application
FAQs ON COMMUNITY TAX AID
In anticipation of our upcoming season, we expect our new volunteers to have many questions about our organization. As in past years, the following Frequently Asked Questions, compiled a few years ago, should serve as an introduction to CTA.
- What dates will the program run? Our tax season starts in mid-February and will end around April 15. The season usually lasts 8 weeks. We provide all volunteers a week off at the season’s midpoint.
- When will the training sessions take place? Training will take place towards the end of January at a date to be decided. Once finalized, the training date will be posted on our website and will be published in a future issue of this newsletter.
- Will the training sessions be virtual or in person? CTA expects to conduct its training virtually. Classes will be given via ZOOM.
- How long are the training sessions? Our all-day training class will be given live and lasts approximately 8 hours. It is an intensive course focusing on the preparation of a tax return for the low-income individual. An introduction to various tax forms and instructions, including forms developed by CTA, is part of the training curriculum. This course will be recorded, and volunteers can watch the class in segments.
- Will volunteers be trained to use the tax software? Yes. A separate class in using our TaxSlayer software is being planned.
- Will volunteers be required to work at a physical location, or will everything be virtual? At this point we anticipate using one office location to conduct our preparation services. More on site locations may come on board later. We will also prepare returns remotely by electronically sending taxpayer information to our volunteers. We will be using Google Meets to reach out to some of our clientele and each other during the tax season.
- What kind of on-the-job training and supervision will there be? You are not alone when it comes to CTA. You can always reach out to our experienced volunteers and managers. We are all here to help you. We encourage you to ask questions.
- What is the minimum number of hours a volunteer must work a week? We ask that you volunteer a minimum of 3 hours per week for the duration of the season (8 weeks). If your schedule allows, you can volunteer more than 3 hours per week.
- Which nights/days of the week can a volunteer work? As of now, we are still planning a schedule.
- Must a volunteer work the same day/night every week? No. Hours are flexible and can be selected to fit your schedule.
- Do we need to volunteer every week during the tax season, or can we miss some weeks? CTA understands that work, school, and home obligations come first. If you cannot volunteer one week, please let us know. And please return the next week!
- How much previous tax experience do I need to volunteer? Experience in tax preparation is helpful but not necessary.
- Do I need to have taken any tax/accounting courses before I volunteer? Having had an accounting/tax course helps. However, all volunteers, regardless of background, can serve as tax preparers. We do ask that all volunteers, regardless of experience/background, attend/watch our training class.
- What equipment and supplies will a volunteer need to work virtually? Volunteers should have their own computer. Our tax software should not be shared with anyone.
- Will volunteers be given any supplies needed to work virtually? Materials will be sent to you via pdf.
- Will volunteers be reimbursed for any supplies required to work virtually? A decision will be made on a case by case basis.
- Will there be networking opportunities? Of course! We offer an opportunity to meet and interact with your peers. The experience you will receive at CTA can be put on a resume.
- How can a volunteer get school credit? Volunteers can request either a Volunteer or CPE certificate noting the hours you volunteered with us. CPE certificates are given to qualifying Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents. Everyone else can receive a Volunteer certificate.
CTA CALENDAR – NEXT BOARD MEETING
The next meeting of the CTA board is scheduled for November 15 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The meeting will be held remotely on Zoom. To join the meeting, please see the Zoom access information below:
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 857 7232 0173
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Meeting ID: 857 7232 0173