Volunteer Center seeks VITA volunteers

     The Jones County Volunteer Center is working to recruit volunteers for its upcoming 2019 VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.

     VITA helps low-to-moderate income workers by providing free tax preparation assistance. Last year, VITA volunteers prepared 2,225 tax returns bringing $3.6 million back to the community. The average federal tax return was more than $1,650.

     There are various volunteer roles to be filled:

Tax Preparer

     Tax preparers participate in IRS tax training and complete basic or advanced level certification. They meet face-to-face with taxpayers to gather information and review documentation. They also prepare tax returns in a collaborative team environment.

Intake Specialist

     Intake specialists participate in a two-hour training session. They are tasked with reviewing taxpayer documentation. They also complete the process by securing taxpayer signatures.


     Greeters take part in a one-hour training in December. They welcome taxpayers and oversee the sign-in process. In addition, greeters complete the checklist with the taxpayer to confirm they have the proper documentation. They also call next-day clients to confirm their appointments.

     Tax preparers, intake specialists and greeters receive training and materials to become IRS certified. Free training is available in a classroom setting or online.

     Classroom and online instruction is developed for both new and returning VITA volunteers. The classroom instruction will cover content and provide time for testing at the advanced level. Volunteers will have hands-on practice with TaxSlayer software.

Upcoming training sessions

     • Thursday, Jan. 10, 5 to 8 p.m.

     • Thursday, Jan. 17, 5 to 8 p.m.

     • Saturday, Jan. 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

     All trainings will be held at the Volunteer Center, 105 Broadway Place, Ste. 1 in Anamosa.

     If anyone is interested in participating in VITA, you are asked to RSVP to Amy Keltner, Volunteer Center coordinator, by Monday, Jan. 7. A light dinner will be provided on the Thursday evening trainings, as well as lunch on Saturday.

     “Historically we have been serving roughly 170 families per season, bringing home $175,000 in federal returns to their pockets,” shared Keltner. “Currently, we are at max capacity with the number of volunteers we have. To recruit new volunteers would mean the ability to serve more people in our community who really need this support.”

     To RSVP with Keltner or for more information, call 319-560-0811 or e-mail amy.keltner@uweci.org.


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