Tax assistance program looking for volunteers

Western Today staff

Community volunteers are being sought to assist in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at Western Washington University this winter.

The VITA program, which helps low- and moderate-income taxpayers prepare their tax returns, is sponsored by WWU’s Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Society and staffed by students from Western and Whatcom Community College in addition to community volunteers.

New volunteers are always needed, and no prior tax experience is necessary. The free VITA training is a combination of self-study, online training and in-class training. The training materials may be picked up at WWU in late November and early December. The VITA Coordinator will send volunteers information on materials availability after online registration has been completed, as well as links and instructions for online training.

The in-class training is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 26 at Western Washington University. The training will include computerized tax preparation training and VITA procedural training. After completion, volunteers will need to pass a short (open book) online test, and then will be able to assist members of the public.

VITA volunteers and trainees will offer free tax assistance at the WWU Parks Hall 336 from February 4 to April 15.

Volunteer information and an online signup form are available on the WWU Beta Alpha Psi website. For more information, contact Kelly Tucker, WWU Coordinator, at vita.wwu.bap@gmail.com.