Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Earn It! Keep It! Save it!
Keep reading for more information about what volunteering with our free tax preparation program involves! If you’re ready to sign up to volunteer, then click here: SIGN UP
Volunteering with Earn It! Keep It! Save It!
Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Bay Area provides free tax preparation to low- to moderate-income individuals, families, and seniors. Tax returns are prepared by trained and IRS certified volunteers at local community organizations.
Last year, more than 3,000 volunteers helped to prepare over 74,000 tax returns and returned $80 million in total refunds to local residents. This money was returned to the pockets of Bay Area residents and put back into the local economy. We need your help to reach even more families in 2016!
Join our exciting coalition of volunteers – we will provide training and link you to a local site to assist low-income families and seniors in your community. We have over 200 sites throughout seven counties in the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Solano, San Francisco and San Mateo). Check out the top 10 reasons to become a tax preparer with EKS!
HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER?
During the recruitment season (Nov.- early Jan.), check out the Volunteer page here on our website, review the positions at a tax site and training required then sign up! An Earn It! Keep It! Save It! representative will contact you with information on the training required and potential tax sites that meet your needs!
WHAT ARE THE VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS?
All of our tax preparers and screeners must be trained and certified by the IRS. Training class schedules vary by county and begin in December and/or January. On average, three to four days of classroom instruction is offered. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is available in November.
Site operation hours vary by site, but each volunteer is asked to commit to volunteer regularly (at least a 4 hour shift per week), beginning late January through April 15th.
All of our volunteers need to be comfortable working with a computer.
WHAT VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
Tax Preparer: Tax preparers assist taxpayers with their tax returns during the tax season. Volunteers will complete a training course and become IRS certified to prepare taxes. Bilingual tax preparers are always in high demand.
Screener: Screeners are responsible for assisting clients with the intake form and ensuring taxpayers have the correct tax documents and identification. This is a critical role as it is the initial point at which important tax return information is gathered and verified.
Interpreter: Interpreters aid taxpayers by working alongside the tax clients and tax preparers. Spanish speaking Volunteers are always needed. Training is provided by each tax site.
Greeter: Greeters welcome tax filers to the tax site during the tax season, and may also inform taxpayers about other available community resources. Training is provided by each tax site.
DO I NEED TAX EXPERIENCE TO BE A VOLUNTEER TAX PREPARER?
No, though a liking for numbers and analysis does help. We have excellent instructors who will teach you in our trainings how to help clients file their taxes.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE IN-CLASS TAX PREPARER TRAINING AND THE SELF-PACED ONLINE TRAINING?
The in-class tax preparer training is highly recommended for new volunteers. During this training you not only learn tax law but also TaxWise, the computer software we use to file taxes (it takes a while to get used to!) The in-class setting is the ideal setting to ask questions and also to learn more about the program.
The self-paced online training, Link & Learn, covers tax law. This is highly recommended for returning volunteers who are already familiar with the TaxWise computer software and the program. However, due to some volunteers’ schedules, self-paced online training may be the only feasible option.