Become a Volunteer Tax Preparer

Throughout the years, Berks Encore has offered Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to members of the surrounding community. In 2014, more than 50 people volunteered to prepare 3,773 federal, state and local tax returns for seniors and low income families in the county. Become a part of this dedicated group of volunteers for the upcoming tax season today!

Returns are completed at each of Berks Encore’s activity centers by certified volunteers. These volunteers — the majority of whom are senior citizens — prepare for tax season by attending tax training for Federal and Pennsylvania State returns, including the rent and property rebate forms. Volunteers must also pass a tax test following their training sessions.

VITA volunteers, once having completed and passed all training, can prepare Federal, State and Local tax forms as well as Property Tax and Rent Rebate forms. Volunteers can also direct clients to someone for help on PACE/Pacenet applications. In addition to tax preparation at our center locations, some volunteers may be asked to visit homebound individuals to prepare their returns.

Orientation

The first step to becoming a VITA volunteer is to attend an orientation session. Orientation is typically scheduled at Berks Encore-Reading in December. More specific times are sent to volunteers when they register.

Classroom Training

The second step is actual classroom training. This will be scheduled to take place each year in January. Specific dates are sent to volunteers as soon as they register. At each session, coordinators will provide you with a review of changes, training options, testing, certification, processes, Link & Learn, scheduling, etc. One date of training will be held for NEW volunteers only. This will be specified at the December orientation.

Additional Training Assistance

As in the past, site coordinators will provide you with the support you need as you train and complete the IRS certification process. It is our intent and goal to make the training and testing as easy for you as possible.

The lower level smart classroom located at Berks Encore-Reading will be open for TaxWise training and test preparation for new volunteers, while returning or more experienced volunteers that need less assistance will be able to use the computer stations in the VITA area on the 2nd floor for training and test preparation. Both areas will be available after December 15th and throughout the month of January.

Recruitment is ongoing, so those interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity should download a VITA Volunteer Application and email it to LuAnn Oatman at LOatman@BerksEncore.org!