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General Counselor Requirements

AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM
  • Nationwide non-profit program administered by AARP Foundation
  • Help low-to-mid income taxpayers with special attention to age 60+
  • Free confidential service
  • Committed to high-quality service
  • Answer tax questions/prepare returns
  • Funding from AARP and IRS
PERFORMANCE
  • 1.5 million returns (paper + e-file accepted)
  • 1.43 million accepted e-files (95.2% rate)
  • $233 million in EIC refunds
  • 76% taxpayers are 60 or older
  • Nearly 6,500 sites
  • Over 32,500 volunteers
VOLUNTEER RESPONSIBILITIES
  • IRS & AARP Tax-Aide Certification
    • Pass Advanced IRS VITA Certification Test
    • Read and understand the Counselor Digest
    • Ethics Training
    • Sign Volunteer Agreement Form 13645
    • View Intake & Interview presentation
    • Complete the 5 assigned 2015 NTTC Workbook problems (all are recommended)
    • LC or instructor certifies at bottom
    • Provide Volunteer Agreement Form 13645 at each site you volunteer
    • Site coordinator maintains list
  • Understand return is TP’s responsibility
  • Every return must be quality reviewed by a second qualified counselor
  • Protect confidentiality and security of taxpayers!
  • Use resources, CyberTax, 800-TAX-VITA
  • Do not retain any taxpayer data (nothing with social security numbers)
  • Do not accept any compensation
  • Record ALL activity in the site log for every shift
SITE REQUIREMENTS
  • Post anti-discrimination poster (AARP D143)
  • Store equipment in secure environment
  • Keep eyes on laptops and forms at sites
  • Call DC, police and AARP number on back of volunteer badge if computer stolen
  • Exit TaxWise® and encryption if neither you nor another counselor will be in area
  • Never post passwords on/near computer
QUALITY REVIEW
  • 100% quality review
  • All returns need review by 2nd set of eyes
  • Use check-off list on Intake Sheet
REIMBURSEMENT
  • Flat-rate reimbursement of $35 or
  • Mileage 
  • Need specific dates/locations
  • Need purpose
  • Covers training classes
  • Covers counseling, January to April 20
  • Expense report submitted to LC or DC at end of season
INSURANCE COVERAGE
  • Travel accident insurance coverage if on Tax-Aide business
  • Supplemental secondary only
  • Notify District Coordinator ASAP
VOLUNTEER PROTECTION ACT OF 1997 CERTIFICATION
  • Four-part certification for counselors
  • Pass Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Test (score 80% on each)‏
  • Show competency in use of TaxWise software (complete four problems in class)‏
  • No certification needed for non-counselors
LINK & LEARN & IRS PUBLICATIONS
SPECIAL CERTIFICATION
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
  • OPTIONAL subject requires on-line training and certification
  • On-line Advanced certification is required before taking the HSA online training and tests