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Virtual Volunteer: Tax Preparer

Tax Preparer

Supervisor: Lead Tax Preparer

Program Description: e4c’s Make Tax Time Pay (MTTP) program provides families and individuals with lower incomes with free income tax preparation, information and applications on government benefits and subsidies, as well as financial resource information.

Time, Schedule, and Commitment:

  • Flexible scheduling, minimum of 4 hours weekly through the months of March and April. You will be setting your own schedule one week ahead of time, so shift scheduling is very flexible.
  • We ask for a minimum of 4 shifts over the duration of the Clinics to cover the training commitment

Location: All Tax Preparers and MTTP volunteers will be working remotely.

Equipment: Tax Preparers are asked to use their own computers and phones, however in special circumstances a laptop can be borrowed from e4c.

Note: Ufile software is not available for download on any Apple products.

Responsibilities:

  • Works to demystify the tax filing process and ensure that the person being served is
    comfortable with and knowledgeable about the tax filing process
  • Completes basic tax returns using the Ufile software and files the taxes online
  • Checks to make sure all needed information is present and reported correctly
  • Ensures that the intake form is fully filled out
  • Maintains confidentiality of all personal information
  • Sends referrals when appropriate to Benefit Navigator
  • Some screening required; volunteers cannot complete complicated tax returns involving self-employment income, investment income, or tax returns for the deceased

Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge Required:

  • Must be able to work with socially and culturally diverse groups experiencing poverty in awelcoming and non-judgmental manner
  • Must have volunteered with MTTP at least one prior year
  • Comfortable with handling personal financial information in a professional manner
  • Available and open to virtual training
  • Good working knowledge of computers and related technology
  • No previous tax preparer experience required. We provide training!

 Screening Requirements:

  • Complete a volunteer application
  • Register with the CRA as a volunteer tax preparer and receive e-file certification (This process may take up to 30 days)
  • Undergo a Police Information & Intervention Record Check. If you do not have one from the last three years, e4c can provide a letter indicating need which will decrease your price to $15.

Orientation/Training:

  • Volunteer Training will be held the month of February as a virtual classroom. Multiple time slots available.
  • Training will be assigned based on previous tax preparation knowledge.

Benefits:

  • Volunteers gain valuable experience and insight working with socially and culturally diverse
  • While we are not able to meet in person, we will still be focused on community building and relationship building. We will be working in a relaxed team environment and there will always be opportunities for questions and support.
  • An opportunity to directly contribute to supporting the financial wellbeing of Edmonton’s most
    vulnerable citizens.
  • An excellent opportunity to improve financial skills and knowledge about taxes.
  • Volunteers registered with the CRA are welcome to use the Ufile software to complete their
    own taxes and those of their immediate family members upon the completion of 4 shifts.
  • e4c and the MTTP supervisors can be used as references.
  • No travel required, you can volunteer from the comfort of your home.

Why this position is valuable and how it contributes to e4c:

  • Directly contributes to the financial well-being of low income individuals and families by
    supporting them to get tax refunds, tax credits, and government benefits.
  • Volunteers with MTTP help e4c work towards our goal to prevent and eventually eliminate poverty

What have previous volunteers said about the new virtual tax filing process:

I’d say overall doing taxes by phone was much more convenient than doing them in person…I will say that live or on the phone, an overwhelming number of clients were friendly, cheery and highly appreciative of the service being provided. Also, most returns are straightforward, involving a few common sources of income (ie AISH, CPP, etc), so it’s not hard for volunteers to learn how to fill them out.” – Gordon, Volunteer Tax Preparer

“I do miss the face to face interaction with clients when I do taxes however in many cases I was still able to connect with them through the phone…Virtual clinics advantage was that I could still contribute even when I was away from Edmonton.” – Juliana, Volunteer Tax Preparer