VITA: Volunteer

Are you looking for a way to help your community?

VITA buttonThe United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties is currently seeking volunteers to provide free tax help for the upcoming filing season.

We are looking for volunteers to work with the public in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach.

Working with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program can be rewarding as you serve a vital role in your local community.

The VITA program offers free tax help to people with low-to-moderate income who need help preparing their own tax returns. During the recent filing season, IRS data show Community VITA programs in Florida aided working families in receiving more than $14 million from the Child Tax Credit, providing taxpayers a much needed financial boost to better-support their children. A program such as VITA not only helps individuals and families in our community but it also helps our local economy, by helping residents retain funds to save and spend locally.

As a VITA volunteer, you will:

  • Volunteer in the role of either as a Tax Preparer or a Greeter
  • Receive IRS training and certification
  • Expand your knowledge of federal tax return procedures
  • Add a new skill to your resume
  • Receive CRA credit (for depository institutions only)
  • Serve local citizens and help stimulate the local economy

We are currently recruiting volunteers. You can help prepare and file tax returns or be a site greeter. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of four hours per week at a VITA site from January 13 through April 15, 2016.

What We Are Looking For

  • Basic computer proficiency needed
  • Willingness to work with diverse populations
  • Ability to be flexible while on site, accepting that some days will be busier than others and being willing to assist in other areas as directed by the Site Coordinator.
  • Pride in performing tasks completely and accurately
  • Ability to successfully complete IRS tax law and e-file training and certification program (Tax Preparers Only)
  • Bilingual volunteers needed

VITA Volunteer Self Assessment

The following questions will help you determine if volunteering for United Way VITA is right for you.

  1. Do you want to be a volunteer Tax Preparer, Greeter/Screener or Spanish Interpreter? Locations in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach.
  2. Can you commit to attending all required trainings for your position sometime between December 15th and the end of January? FREE training is provided by IRS certified trainers. Tax preparers will need to complete at least eight hours of training and, depending on the filing program utilized, sometimes up to thirty-two hours. Greeters/Screeners and Interpreters will need to attend one – two hours of training.
  3. For tax preparers, are you comfortable using a computer and able to learn new software? Tax preparers use on-site computers to prepare returns electronically.
  4. Do you enjoy working one-on-one with a wide range of people? Our sites serve a diverse group of clients.
  5. Are you comfortable in a changing environment where you may be asked to take on different tasks as necessary? At our sites, every day is different.
  6. Can we count on you to work at least one shift a week (typically 4 hours) for the duration of tax season and/or to notify your coordinator if you’re unable to do so? The families who visit the sites each year – as well as the site coordinators who run them – rely on volunteers showing up at the site consistently and giving their best.

If you answered yes to all of the above questions for the role you are interested in, then United Way VITA would be a good fit for you! We invite you to take the next step and email vita@united-way.org. Please include all of your contact information along with which location, Crestview or Fort Walton Beach, you would like to serve. The United Way coordinator will contact you with the information you need to get started.