Irvine, CA (August 15, 2022) – Orange County United Way’s OC Free Tax Prep program will return for the 2023 tax season and is seeking 600 volunteer tax preparers to help Orange County residents keep more of their hard-earned money. No prior experience is required to become an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteer.
The OC Free Tax Prep program, established in 2005, is part of Orange County United Way’s United for Financial SecuritySM initiative to increase the number of financially stable families in Orange County and break the cycle of poverty.
“Our OC Free Tax Prep program is powered by dedicated VITA volunteers. Whether you’re a college student in need of volunteer hours or a seasoned industry expert looking for a way to help in our community, volunteers have a unique opportunity to interact directly with taxpayers, build their skills, and gain insightful perspective on the low and middle income financial challenges that many Orange County families face,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO, Orange County United Way. “We’re grateful for our volunteers and their commitment to helping low-income Orange County residents achieve financial security.”
All volunteers are required to complete and pass the online Volunteer Standards of Conduct training and exam. Volunteer roles include:
- Tax Preparers: Required to complete tax preparation trainings and must pass certification exams prior to serving.* Newly certified volunteers will be paired with a mentor and receive guidance from the site manager.
- *Exams are online, self-paced, open-book, and multiple-choice.
- Interpreters: Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsi, Arabic and Mandarin bilinguals are needed.
- Greeters: This role consists of welcoming clients and making sure they have all the necessary documents and paperwork.
Online and in-person training sessions led by an IRS-certified VITA instructor will be available in November and December 2022 and early January 2023. All volunteers, new or returning, are required to attend three training sessions. Volunteer hours are available during day, evening, and weekend shifts at locations all over Orange County. A full list of locations and volunteer hours will be announced later this year.
During the 2022 tax season, OC Free Tax Prep helped more than 14,000 residents throughout Orange County bring in nearly $16.5 million in federal and state refunds. Taxpayers saved a minimum of $2.8 million in preparation fees, which equates to an impact of $19.3 million in Orange County. More than 20,817 volunteer hours were contributed.
“I get a great feeling from volunteering for OC Free Tax Prep. I would tell someone who is interested in being a VITA volunteer that it is a terrific program that helps many people in our community. It is well run and a rewarding volunteer opportunity,” said Linda, an Orange County resident and VITA volunteer.
To learn more about becoming an OC Free Tax Prep volunteer, please visit: https://vita.volunteerhub.com/ and create an account or email VITA@UnitedWayOC.org.
For more information on certification, please visit: https://www.linklearncertification.com/d/.
For more information about OC Free Tax Prep, please visit: https://ocfreetaxprep.com/.
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY
Orange County United Way is committed to leading the fight for equity by breaking barriers, closing gaps, and leveling the playing field for everyone who lives here. More than a fundraiser, we’re hands-on, delivering 50+ programs countywide to improve lives in our community. Every day, we are working to advance the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of people in Orange County. We are working to ensure our local students succeed, struggling OC families gain financial security, and our homeless neighbors find a place to call home. We step up to actively address the critical issues facing our community and we go the extra mile to make sure our residents have the support they need. We genuinely care for one another. That’s The OC Way.
To learn more or discover how you can help, visit UnitedWayOC.org.
Orange County United Way is a standalone, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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