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TAX-AIDE Volunteer/Site Quality Requirements Standards of Conduct For All AARP Foundation Tax- Aide Volunteers 2013–2014 Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures.

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Presentation on theme: "TAX-AIDE Volunteer/Site Quality Requirements Standards of Conduct For All AARP Foundation Tax- Aide Volunteers 2013–2014 Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures."— Presentation transcript:

1 TAX-AIDE Volunteer/Site Quality Requirements Standards of Conduct For All AARP Foundation Tax- Aide Volunteers 2013–2014 Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 1

2 TAX-AIDE Client Service Provider Digest Additional important information provided in the Client Service Provider Digest: Counselor Guidelines and Policies Conflict of Interest Guidelines Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data Liability Protection AARP Foundation Volunteer Standards of Professionalism Activity Reporting Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 2

3 TAX-AIDE Overall Objectives Ensure awareness of AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program policies and procedures AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Standards of Professionalism IRS grant requirements Ensure a satisfying experience for Taxpayers Provide training for all volunteers Quality Site Requirements (QSR) Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSC) Program policies and procedures Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 3

4 TAX-AIDE Quality Site Requirements #1 – Volunteers must be certified #2 – Intake and Interview #3 – Quality Review #4 – Reference Material #5 - Signed Volunteer Agreement Who is responsible? LC/Instructor Counselors LC Counselor Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 4

5 TAX-AIDE Quality Site Requirements #6 – All Returns filed on Timely Basis #7 – Taxpayers informed of Civil Rights #8 - Must use correct Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) #9 – Must use correct Site ID number (SIDN) #10 – Taxpayer Identification Who is responsible? ERO/COU LC LC/ERO Counselor Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 5

6 TAX-AIDE What You Need to Know QSR #2 - Intake and Interview Process Must use current year Form 13614-C – Interview Intake & Quality Review Sheet for every taxpayer Taxpayer interview key to process Verify that all yes responses in the Intake sheet are accounted for in the tax return Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 6

7 TAX-AIDE What You Need to Know QSR #3 Quality Review Process QR must be in front of taxpayer Fully review and account for all pages of Client Intake Form QR should askprobing questions not just verify name and numbers Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 7 100% Quality Review by 2 nd counselor

8 TAX-AIDE What You Need to Know QSR #5 Volunteer Agreement Must pass Volunteer Standards of Conduct test Must agree to the IRS Standards of Conduct Must also agree to abide by the programs Standards of Professionalism Volunteer Agreement must be signed by the volunteer and the instructor or local coordinator Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 8 All volunteers must sign the Volunteer Agreement Form 13615

9 TAX-AIDE Volunteer Standards of Conduct All volunteers must sign the Volunteer Agreement Form 13615 – critical text below Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 9

10 TAX-AIDE Form 13615, Page 2 Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 10

11 TAX-AIDE What You Need to Know QSR #6 Timely Filing of Tax Returns Taxpayer and spouse signed 8879 provides authorization to e- file return Any rejects should be resolved in a timely manner (usually within 3 days) Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 11 Must have process to ensure e-file returns filed in a timely manner

12 TAX-AIDE What You Need to Know QSR #8 Correct Site Identification Number Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 12 QSR #9 Correct Electronic Filing Identification Number

13 TAX-AIDE What You Need to Know QSR # 10 – Security, Privacy, Confidentiality Proper identification of Taxpayer – LC approval required for exemptions, should be very rare Taxpayer presents SS card or Tax ID # Alternatives Other documents issued by SS ID, all docs with same SSN, and last years return; or ID, all docs with same SSN, and Carryforward Interim Taxpayer ID # (ITIN) ITIN application process separately defined Confidentiality of Data from Taxpayer – including NO part of any tax and/or information forms retained by volunteers Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 13

14 TAX-AIDE Volunteer Standards of Conduct #1: Follow the Quality Site Requirements #2: Not accept payment or solicit donations for federal or state tax return preparation #3: Never solicit business for self or others #4: Not knowingly prepare a false return #5: Not engage in any criminal or any conduct deemed to have a negative effect on the program #6: Treat all taxpayers in a professional, courteous and respectful manner Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 14

15 TAX-AIDE Volunteer Checklist Secure Equipment and Tax Data Certify. Pass advanced test, if a Counselor, IRS Standards of Conduct Test (all) Follow key policies, e.g. IRS Standards of Conduct, AARP Foundation Standards of Professionalism Interview/Intake process for every Taxpayer 100% Quality Review by 2nd Counselor Close for the day; have and comply with a process for tracking all e-files through acceptance-get returns to ERO Close for the season properly Accurately Report Service Activity – dont forget Q and As! Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 15

16 TAX-AIDE PROFESSIONALISM and SITE PROCEDURES ALL VOLUNTEERS Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 16

17 TAX-AIDE Standards of Professionalism Discussion of politics, race, nationality, gender identity, religion are inappropriate. Treat all taxpayers/volunteers equally and with courtesy – No discrimination Follow AARP Foundation Tax-Aide policies at all times All tax returns will receive a Quality Review by 2 nd certified counselor Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 17

18 TAX-AIDE Standards of Professionalism Do not discuss taxpayer information with anyone who does Not have a need to know Issue arises regarding taxpayer return that requires consultation with 2 nd volunteer Discuss quietly away from taxpayer Discuss quietly to ensure privacy Resolve differences – sustain TP confidence Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 18

19 TAX-AIDE Standards of Professionalism Angry taxpayer? Attempt to diffuse situation Move to quiet area, if possible Immediately notify local coordinator Provide assistance to disabled Assure welcome Requested assistance not available, notify local coordinator Do not provide personal information for any volunteer Refer inquiries to local coordinator Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 19

20 TAX-AIDE All Volunteers: Complete Training for Quality Site Requirements and Site Procedures Trained to understand Intake and Interview Process Quality Review Process Pass the IRS VSOC test Wear name tag with first name and first initial only of last name Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 20

21 TAX-AIDE All Counselors: Pass the Advanced level of the IRS Test Stay within scope of training and certification If uncertain of ability to assist even if within scope: Do not continue with return Notify Local Coordinator Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 21

22 TAX-AIDE All Counselors: Ask for photo ID for Taxpayer and Spouse and social security number for everyone listed on tax return (slide 13) Protect from Identity Theft Conduct an interview with taxpayer Prepare Tax Return(s) Quality Review Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 22

23 TAX-AIDE All Counselors: (Continued) Explain tax return Remind Taxpayer of their responsibilities by emphasizing key words from 8879 statement as you request they sign the document. The return is: – true, correct, complete, OK to file Provide taxpayer one copy of return plus the signed 8879 in AARP TAX-AIDE envelope Return ALL taxpayer documents Intake Form, W-2s, 1099s, etc Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 23

24 TAX-AIDE 100% Quality Review – All Returns Second Person Quality Review (QR) by counselor certified to level of return Review Intake Sheet Ensure nothing is missed Ask Questions Make sure all yes answers on page two are addressed in the return Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 24

25 TAX-AIDE 100% Quality Review (Continued) Second Person Quality Review (cont) Review source documents EIN, Issuer name and Address, SSN, etc Verify Accuracy of Return(s) in Taxwise Initial TaxWise Preparer Use Field 14 Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 25

26 TAX-AIDE Verify Banking Information Bank routing # and account # generally entered directly from check Optional method if taxpayer does not have check – If approved by Local Coordinator Accept information from another source if Counselor advises taxpayer of responsibility for accuracy – the money will most likely be gone for good if incorrect Taxpayer initials next to routing and account numbers on printed return Source of information recorded in TaxWise Main Information Sheet Client Diary Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 26

27 TAX-AIDE Secure Equipment and Tax Data Store equipment in secure environment Keep laptops and forms in secure environment at all times during site operations Immediately notify your volunteer leader if: Computer is stolen or lost Forms with taxpayer data are stolen or lost Volunteer leader must immediately call police and number on back of volunteer badge Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 27

28 TAX-AIDE Secure Equipment and Tax Data AARP Foundation Tax-Aide approved anti-virus software must be installed and running on computers AARP Foundation Tax-Aide approved firewall software program installed passwords required to control access to taxpayer data Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 28

29 TAX-AIDE Secure Equipment and Tax Data Lock computer if you step away WINDOWS key + L Never post passwords on or near computer Flash drives with encrypted software must be used on site-sponsored-owned computers – TW desktop only Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 29

30 TAX-AIDE Assurances for Accuracy and Quality Certified volunteers exercise proper care Preparation of return Quality Review Filing tax returns Ask sufficient questions to ensure quality and accuracy Volunteers may rely in good faith Missing documentation Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 30

31 TAX-AIDE Closing for the Season – TWD Backup retained data – external media Send to designated custodian One per state/split state IRS owned computer? Run WIPE DISK program Site-owned, personal, Tax-Aide computers Run Clear TP Data – See Sharenet Volunteer/Site Policies and Procedures 2013-2014 31


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