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Volunteer Greeter/Screener VITA Training

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Presentation on theme: "Volunteer Greeter/Screener VITA Training"— Presentation transcript:

1 Volunteer Greeter/Screener VITA Training
January 7, 2014 Welcome volunteers to the Greeter/Screener training class (make sure people know what VITA stands for (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) *Over 13, 000 sites and approximately 99,000 volunteers (without volunteers we have no program) *VITA has been around for over 40 years *Program serves the low to moderate income taxpayers and the elderly *$52,000 income or less – If taxpayer AGI winds up a little over, it is Site Coordinator discretion to serve or refer elsewhere. IRS works with sponsoring partners all over the country for local VITA programs. Pinellas Prosperity Partnership is the local sponsoring partner with staff support from the Juvenile Welfare Board Have Instructors and volunteers introduce themselves.

2 VITA Greeter/Screener
Tax Payer You are the first person that the taxpayer sees. SMILE!!!!!!

3 Goals Provide support to the VITA site.
Understand and be sensitive to the taxpayer’s perspective Ensure that customers have the necessary information required to complete their tax return. . Perspective=viewpoint (n.) Make sure that taxpayers have all of their documents.

4 What Qualities are Needed?
Ability to deal with the public in a helpful, non-judgmental and supportive manner Willingness to share time, skills, and interest at a VITA site Friendly, dependable and flexible Pride in performing tasks completely and accurately Sometimes we see people that are “down on their luck” We see people not only unemployed but what we call under employed. Remember we what to treat people equally.

5 What are my responsibilities?
Bring your volunteer agreement along with photo identification and give the Form to the Site Coordinator (if you don’t bring it, you will not be able to volunteer) Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled time Sign in the volunteer log when you arrive and when you leave. Inside cover of review volunteer Agreement STANDARDS OF CONDUCT (Also in test booklet & on-line) –Briefly review responsibilities Greeter/Screener Volunteers will sign Form 13615 All volunteers must take the Ethics lessons in Link & Learn Greeter/Screeners must also complete the Intake Interview and Quality Review lessons on Link & Learn Success of Program = Integrity

6 What are my responsibilities?
Greet taxpayers’ professionally, courteous, and respectfully. Have taxpayers sign in Add up the amounts on the W-2(s) and if over $52,000 or if they have rental properties, refer to AARP Make copies of ID’s & Forms if site coordinator requests When in doubt seek assistance from the site coordinator If AGI winds up over $52k barely and return is otherwise within scope, Site Coordinator may decide that we can serve the client is an alternative VITA option with income limits up to $57,000. Clients with a computer and internet access can use this site for free on their own. When they include the /ppp on the website URL, the Pinellas Prosperity Partnership can get credit for that return. If you tell a taxpayer that there return is out of scope for VITA and AARP you must refer them to a professional return preparer. You can not refer them to a specific return preparer.

7 What are my responsibilities?
Do not accept payment or solicit donations for federal or state tax return preparation. You can not solicit business from taxpayers you assist or use the knowledge gained (their information) about them for any direct or indirect personal benefit for you or any other specific individual. Read slide 7

8 What are my responsibilities?
Have taxpayer fill out the intake and interview sheet If taxpayer has problems reading the interview sheet, ask if you could help in any way. Be descreet.

9 Intake & Interview All sites must use an intake & interview process.
This process must include using an Intake & Interview sheet Form C There is also an Intake & Interview portion on link and learn that would be valuable to you if you took this portion of the link and learn. This year it is a requirement.

10 Intake and Interview Sheet
Taxpayer fills out Page 1 & 2 Make sure you pay close attention to questions marked “unsure” – need to follow-up with taxpayer if you can if not or if it a tax law question that needs help let the tax preparer help. Questions on page two of the form have a letter like (A) or (B) in front of the question. If the taxpayer answers “yes” to only questions with a (B), the return can be prepared and quality reviewed by volunteers with Basic certification. If the taxpayer checks yes to any question with an (A), that return must be prepared and reviewed by Advance certified volunteers. Page 15 and 16 of the 4012 has information about the c including a key explaining how the various certification levels are stipulated on the form.

11 Ensure the taxpayer is who they say they are!!!!
Picture ID Social Security card for everyone being claimed on the return Tax Payer MUST provide a picture ID such as a driver’s license or a military ID card Tax Payer MUST provide a social security card for themselves and everyone being claimed on the return Photo Identification for the taxpayer and spouse if Married Filing Jointly. Some Taxpayers may have an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) – this is issued by the IRS and only used to file a return. The number will begin with a “9”. It is very important to match information on the tax return to Social Security Card, if not the return will be delayed in processing.

12 Necessary Information
Ensure the customer has brought the necessary information all income information (e.g. W-2’s and 1099) Last year’s return, (if available) Ensure they have their bank information (blank check) if using direct deposit for refund.

13 What are my responsibilities?
Provide general assistance to customers Screen all customers to identify what type of return and tax schedules they will need. Safeguard taxpayer confidentiality If the taxpayer has tax law questions you have to refer them to the person preparing the tax returns unless you have completed the test for tax law.

14 Identity Theft Nationwide, identity theft continues to grow at an alarming rate. It is now the number one consumer complaint reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Identity theft occurs when thieves use your personal information (such as your Social Security number or driver's license number) to gain access to money, credit, goods or services in your name without your permission. The IRS takes this issue very seriously. People whose identities have been stolen spend months or even years correcting the problems thieves have made. Preparing tax returns for taxpayers who bring in a current CP01A Notice or Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) is within scope of the VITA/TCE programs. When assisting taxpayers who are victims or may be victims of identity theft, refer them to the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at

15 Supplies Needed Clip board with sign in sheets Form 13614-C
Pen or pencil PPP VITA client surveys Will I have to furnish these?

16 Helpful Resources 2-1-1
2-1-1 For taxpayers that do not have social security cards or ITIN’s you can find the nearest social security office at the link and tell them where to go to get the documents is the free do-it-yourself option for taxpayers with AGI up to $57,000 If taxpayers do not check the box on the intake form for receiving their refund by direct deposit, they may not have a bank account. Present them with a Bank on Tampa Bay brochure, which will be at your site. 2-1-1 is a phone number that provides information and resources on many subjects that clients might ask for help with that are beyond the scope of VITA.

17 VITA/TCE sites may receive visits from:
QSS Reviews IRS-SPEC Mystery Shoppers Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Shoppers SPEC relationship managers to conduct Field Site Visits Your Partner Civil Rights Division (CRD) to monitor compliance with Title VI and reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities VITA/TCE sites may receive visits from: QSS reviews, IRS-SPEC Mystery Shoppers and TIGTA are unannounced. These are to test return accuracy. SPEC relationship managers, your partner and Civil Rights Division (CRD) may or may not be announced. 17

18 What do I do if a customer is over the income guideline?
Questions? What do I do if a customer is over the income guideline? Who do I go to if I have problems or questions? If I decide to later take the test so that I can prepare tax returns or answer tax law questions can I? Test is on-line & you can print the certificate (Form 13615) You have to at least take the Ethics test and Intake/Interview and Quality Review PowerPoint Presentation (no test). Test is Pub 6744 (can take paper or on-line) You MUST bring it to your sites & give to site coordinators along with a picture identification.


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