Volunteer positions open with Tax Aide in East Central Minnesota

What do these people have in common?

Married, tall, single, widow, 23 years young, engineer, postman, retired, parent, slim, great grandparent, receptionist, chubby, homemaker, wife/husband team, short, 85 years old, grandparent … Answer: They are all volunteers in East Central Minnesota for A.A.R.P. Foundation Tax Aide.

Free tax return preparation has been available for more than 30 years in East Central Minnesota. This service is provided for low to moderate income individuals and the elderly. However, sites have closed in Princeton (2012) and Mora (2013) due to lack of volunteers. It is likely that Pine City and Hinckley will not be able to open in 2014.

There are a number of different volunteer positions, with a diversity of skills required, which need to be filled in order to continue to provide this service to the East Central Minnesota community. It’s not too early to be thinking about this as many of the organizational and training activities occur prior to the actual tax preparation season.

Check out the following opportunities:

Management: District Coordinator (one). Basically the program manager for East Central Minnesota. The DC must have the ability to implement program policy and provide specific oversight of the program and its volunteers within the designated district. The DC must be able to work effectively with diverse populations. This position demands more time from September to May, with the greatest commitment during fall planning and spring evaluation.

Local Coordinator (Hinckley, Mora, Pine City and Princeton): Manages all aspects of an A.A.R.P. Foundation Tax Aide site, including ensuring site compliance with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program policies. Working with the District Coordinator, recruits, appoints, supervises, and evaluates volunteers, ensuring required certification and program policy training for all. Identifies site location, establishes schedule, implements local program publicity. Works well with diverse populations and treats clients and other volunteers with respect. The position requires a varying level of time commitment from September to May, with most during the mid-February to April 15 tax season.

Computer: District Technical Coordinator (one). Technical support for East Central Minnesota. Provide hardware, operating system and software support for Tax Aide computers, printers, routers and modems. Maintains equipment inventory documentation at the District level.  The greatest time commitment is December through January for equipment set up, and mid-April through May for collecting equipment for storage, and wiping computer hard drives. Occasional trouble-shooting assistance may be needed by phone or at a site throughout the tax season which starts mid-February and ends April 15.

Tax Preparation: Counselor (many).  Prepares tax forms and/or answers questions to the extent of his/her current tax training. Explains tax returns prepared to taxpayers as taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of there own return. The most important skills for this job are familiarity with computers and the ability to pay attention to detail. Thorough training and a laptop with an excellent tax software program are provided. Counselors must pass the IRS certification test and agree to the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct. As a counselor you will never work alone because they are required to review each others work to ensure they are done accurately.

If you are interested in helping, or would like more information regarding any of these volunteers opportunities, contact:

Carol Kenfield  – 763-552-9229 or [email protected]

Jerry Liedl –  [email protected] (preferred) or  651-674-2034

Bob St, Marie – 320-845-2480, 320-292-2502 or [email protected]