Volunteer to prepare tax returns in person or online!
No experience needed. Receive specialized training to become an IRS certified tax preparer. Looking for a different way to get involved? We have a variety of volunteer positions available.
The Eastern Maine CA$H Coalition helps low- to middle-income families prepare their taxes and access financial literacy resources, all free of charge. Last year we returned over $4 million in tax refunds to folks in our community!
For more information, contact Elizabeth Whitten at (207) 941-2800 or at email@example.com
What is CA$H Maine/Eastern Maine CA$H?
CA$H Maine is a statewide collaboration of ten coalitions, of which Eastern Maine is one. We’re comprised of over 50 non- and for-profit partners who all work together to help empower Maine individuals and families to achieve long-term financial stability. One of the ways that we do this is by offering free tax preparation services for low- to middle-income folks. Along with having their tax return prepared for free, they also receive financial literacy services and personalized information about community resources that could benefit them.
How does the tax preparation process work?
The taxpayer schedules an appointment, and then brings their tax information to the intake site where the Intake Coordinator helps the taxpayer complete a few forms. Their tax documents are scanned onto a Tresorit, a secure web based server, to be retrieved by Virtual Volunteer Tax Preparers. The tax preparer then prepares the return and calls the taxpayer with any questions. Once the return is completed, it is reviewed by another Virtual Volunteer Tax Preparer who completes a quality review check. Once they have reviewed the return for accuracy, the completed return is uploaded back to Tresorit, and placed in a folder to be retrieved and/or printed by the intake coordinator. When the taxpayer returns to the site one week later, they review the return and authorize it to be e-filed.
What do I need to do to become a Virtual Volunteer Tax Preparer? What training do I need?
If you decided to volunteer as a virtual tax preparer, we would help you register an account with the free IRS Certified Training site and you would complete the training online, whenever is convenient for you. We would also get you all set up with Tresorit and TaxSlayer accounts, and provide training (either virtual or in person) for how to utilize the software so that you are comfortable to begin preparing returns.
What is the window for preparing returns?
All the sites in our five county service area are open from the beginning of February through mid-April. During this time period, you will get an email every time a new group of tax documents from a site have been uploaded and the returns are ready to be prepared (this is approximately 1-2 times per week). After returns are uploaded, we have 7 days to prepare the returns, do quality reviews on each, and contact a taxpayer if any questions arise. Returns can be completed 24 hours a day/7 days a week, so it is completely up to the tax preparer when they would like to log in to complete returns or do quality reviews.
Is there a minimum number of tax returns that each volunteer must complete?
There is no minimum number of returns that a volunteer is required to do, and even if a volunteer only completes a few returns over the course of the season, we are immensely grateful! We process hundreds of returns throughout the tax season, so every single completed return is a huge help!
Do you have any in person tax prep events?
We have two large in-person “taxathon” events throughout the tax season, one February 16th and one April 6th, that you are welcome to attend! At each taxathon, we typically have about 100 individuals come to have their returns prepared, so if you are interested in preparing returns in-person, this is a great opportunity to do so!
We also partner with AARP Tax Aide, the organization that coordinates the in person tax sites for CA$H Maine throughout our region. If you are interested in going to a physical tax site and completing in-person returns, please contact Elizabeth Whitten at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I’m in! Sign me up!
Fantastic! We’re so excited to have you on the team! Please contact Elizabeth Whitten at email@example.com so that we can get you trained and set up with your login information.
I want to volunteer with Eastern Maine CA$H, but I don’t want to prepare taxes. Do you have any other volunteer opportunities?
Absolutely! We are also recruiting for Intake Coordinators and Financial Literacy Coaches for all of our sites. Intake Coordinators greet the clients, scan in their documents, and assist them in completing the IRS and CA$H Maine intake forms. Financial Literacy Coaches assist clients in determining what area resources could be beneficial for them. We would be happy to discuss either of these opportunities with you.