www aarp by w8S0hO


									 AARP Tax-Aide

Published by the AARP Tax-Aide Program.
AARP Tax-Aide is a program of the AARP Foundation, offered in conjunction with the IRS.

                                                                 Local Coordinator’s Digest
                                      (Now a Companion Manual to the Counselor Digest)

                                                      October 1, 2009-September 30, 2010

            Website for the public: www.aarp.org/taxaide
            Website for volunteers (Extranet): www.aarp.org/tavolunters

            Over 2.5 Million People Served
                                        Why Read This Digest?
Dear Local Coordinator:
First and foremost, thanks for agreeing to be a Local Coordinator in 2010! This program can only exist to
help others if volunteers, like you, manage activity. You are so vital to the success of AARP Tax-Aide!

We are taking many steps this year to streamline documentation where possible and conserve funds. One
step is to reduce redundancies in the Counselor and Local Coordinator’s Digests. That’s why you are
receiving a slimmer Local Coordinator Digest along with a Counselor Digest. Please be sure to read the
Counselor Digest as many important sections, such as Site and Counselor Guidelines and Policies as
well as Security and Confidentiality, are only in that digest. These documents, and the Quality Site
Guidelines presentation in the same Admin Kit as this Guide, should help you carry out the responsibilities
of an AARP Tax-Aide Local Coordinator. There are really three basic things you need to keep in mind:

       1. Promote the program (both to potential customers and volunteers),
       2. Record and measure how many people we serve throughout the year, and
       3. Ensure high standards of quality and security through good site operations.

We’re in this to help people, especially with their taxes. In order to do this, we need to promote the program
and recruit great volunteers. Equally important to the program is our ability to measure our success. Service
statistics, collected through your leadership on site sign-in sheets and the Activity Reporting system, assure
AARP and IRS that their dollars are indeed helping people -- lots of people!

Standards of quality in both the tax services and administrative functions are critical. Quality review is an
important part of every site’s operation.

In this financial climate, we also need you and your volunteers to be good stewards of program funds. That’s
a challenge we know you take seriously. Due to significantly increasing mileage expenses for volunteers,
LCs (and DCs) are asked to review how far volunteers may be driving as one consideration as the LC/DC
assigns volunteers to specific sites for the coming tax season. Additionally, there are very important
changes in expense management and reporting for all itemizing volunteers. Please that section of this Guide.

Finally, in this era of increased concerns for the security of confidential information, it is important to keep
in mind that we are all responsible for ensuring that taxpayer information is held in the strictest of
confidence. This applies to how we manage their information once it is on a computer as well as how we
conduct ourselves in person at sites.

You are the direct communicator to AARP Tax-Aide site volunteers. Please help them understand why they
should encourage word-of-mouth customer promotion and volunteer recruitment, why assistance statistics
are so essential, and why, most importantly, we must maintain high standards of quality and security for our
clients. What you communicate means everything to those folks and to the program.

You have an important job and thanks again for your willingness to take it on!

With gratitude and hope that your season is not just a success, but also fun,

AARP Tax-Aide National Leadership Team
(Regional and national level volunteers as well as National Office staff)

                                           LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 1
                           Local Coordinator Digest Contents
Check out the Local Coordinator At A Glance page that follows this one, and refer to the rest of this
Digest as you need help. Please remember that a significant amount of critical information for site
volunteers, including Local Coordinators is located in the Counselor Digest.
                 About You                                        Data Management
Local Coordinator At A Glance                  3     Submitting Tax Assistance Activity Data     12
Local Coordinator Position Description         4
Local Coordinator Activity Schedule            6

                                                                    Site Administration
                                                      Site Management Selection & Schedules          16
                                                      Generating Local Publicity                     18
                                                      Site Lists & Guidelines                        22
                                                      Example of AARP Tax-Aide Site Flow             57

            People Management
Counselor, ERO, SCO, CF Recruitment            7                Administrative Necessities
Training and Testing                           8      Ordering Materials                             24
Volunteer Rosters and Record Keeping           10     Expense Reimbursement                          27
Recognition of Service & Performance Review    11     Insurance Coverage                             38
                                                      Administrative Reports Summary                 39


Samples For Display                                   Samples for Local Coordinator/Instructor
                                                        Instructor Biography Form                    51
                                                         Instructor Report of Certified Counselors   52
  Expense Statement                            39
  Personnel Form(abbreviated sample)           43
                                                      Actual Forms For Local Coordinator Use
  AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form             47        Site Sign-in Sheet                          43
  Volunteer/Site Recognition Order Form        49        Counselor Performance Review Form           53
                                                         Volunteer Assessment of AARP Tax-Aide       55

                                       LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 2
                      The Local Coordinator At A Glance
Local Coordinators (LC) carry out seven major responsibilities for AARP Tax-Aide summarized below.

Recruit           Word-of-mouth is the most effective form of volunteer recruitment. AARP Tax-Aide
Counselors,       has toll-free 888# and Web page recruitment, but personal solicitation at sites or
EROs, and         otherwise locally by LCs and Counselors (with LC encouragement) is still the best
Client            source of new volunteers.

Train EROs,     LCs teach Counselors, Electronic Return Originators (EROs), Shift Coordinators, and
Client          Client Facilitators about program policies, the need and how to protect taxpayer data,
Facilitators,   the activity statistics via Site Sign-in Sheets, along with their proper recording and
and Counselors  submission, and the importance of marking the site identification number on all
on Program      returns prepared. A presentation called “Local Training- Policies and Procedures” is
                available on the Extranet to assist LCs with conveying policies and procedures. LCs
                also teach site volunteers how to claim or decline expense reimbursement within the
                constraints of AARP Tax-Aide’s policy limitations.
Create, Record, LCs establish as many sites as necessary to adequately serve the local area keeping
Maintain, and   efficiency, particularly for e-filing and quality site requirements, in mind. Site quality
“Staff” Quality requirements, available on the Extranet, are also included as a presentation in the
Sites           admin kit sent to the LC with this Guide and need to be reviewed. Site information
                must be accurately recorded in the national database, VMIS, for 888# and Web look-
                up functions, and site volunteers must be scheduled to cover periods of operation.

Generate Site     People must learn about the sites that are established in order to avail themselves of
Publicity         our services. As needed based on capacity, LCs generate media publicity, post
                  posters, seek sponsor publicity, and promote word-of-mouth publicity.

Order &           An array of forms and materials are needed to maintain normal site operations. One
Distribute        AARP Tax-Aide poster, with the white space for local information and civil rights
Materials         language, is required by the IRS grant to be posted at all sites (samples are in the
                  Administrative Packet). This poster and other needed site materials, including the tax
                  record envelope, must be ordered from AARP (not the IRS) and distributed by LCs.

Maintain          LC’s submit new Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinator, and Client Facilitator
Volunteer         information and update current Counselor data via the All Volunteer Roster
Rosters           (Personnel forms are available to help with this). This data is added to the national
                  database of AARP Tax-Aide volunteers by the state’s Administrative Specialist, and is
                  used for materials shipment and expense reimbursement.
Monitor &         LCs carry the responsibility of limiting program expenses including Counselor, ERO,
Approve           Shift Coordinators, and Client Facilitators’ expenses to essential spending. This
Expenses          requires efficient site selection and usage, monitoring of activities and scrutiny of
                  expense statements, along with providing the actual approval signature in accordance
                  with previously established state limits for individual volunteer expenses. This
                  expense management is especially critical in 2010 as our budget was reduced due to
                  factors related to the downturn in the economy.

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 3
              AARP Tax-Aide Local Coordinator Position Description

   Program &          AARP Tax-Aide provides free personal income tax assistance to low- and moderate-
   Purpose of         income taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and older. The Local Coordinator
    Position          (LC) implements program plans in one or more assigned geographic localities and
                      ensures site compliance with AARP Tax-Aide program policies.

Responsibilities of      Sets goals and implements program plans for assigned geographic locality(ies).
    Position             Recruits, appoints, supervises, and evaluates Counselors, Electronic Return
                          Originators (EROs), Shift Coordinators (SCOs) (as needed), and Client Facilitators,
                          ensuring IRS certification, as required, and program policy training for all.
                         Confirms Counselors have passed the IRS test and all site volunteers have signed
                          the Volunteer Standards of Conduct form prior to assisting any taxpayers (the forms
                          must be held until December 31 by a local leader).
                         Maintains and ensures all site volunteers maintain the strict confidentiality and
                          protects the security of all taxpayer information and records at all times.
                         Ensures all sites’ volunteers have received copies of, and understand, the
                          Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data section of the Counselor Digest.
                         Establishes 2nd person (Counselor) on-site quality review measures to ensure
                          accuracy of returns.
                         Works with all EROs at site to ensure process exists and is followed to verify that
                          all e-file returns are transmitted, rejects worked, and acceptances received.
                         Updates All Volunteer Roster and completes personnel forms to ensure all
                          volunteers reporting to the LC are accurately recorded in the database at the
                          National Office.
                         Confirms and evaluates existing sites, opens new sites, merges sites as appropriate,
                          prepares site schedule, updates site lists & forms to ensure sites are accurately
                          reflected in the National Office database for uploading to the Web and 888-227-
                          7669 public access site locators.
                         Collects Site Sign-in Sheets, summarizes the data, and submits monthly totals via
                          the Internet submission process.
                         Ensures notation of the IRS Site Identification Number (SIDN) on all tax returns
                          (paper and e-filed) prepared at the site
                         Orders site material from IRS and AARP Tax-Aide National Office, according to
                          the state's procedures.
                         Ensures posting of AARP Tax-Aide program poster with civil rights language
                          (#D143) at all sites during operating hours.
                         Ensures sites use IRS Intake Forms and AARP Tax Record Envelopes exclusively.
                         Coordinates with District Coordinator and Communications Coordinator (where
                          appointed) to implement local program publicity.
                         Submits approved Counselor, ERO, SCO, and Client Facilitator expenses to the
                          National Office, in accordance with the state's procedures.
                         Attends meetings as scheduled by the State or District Coordinators.
                         Works well with diverse populations

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 4
  Qualifications,      The LC must have the ability to implement program policy and provide direct
Length of Service &    oversight of the program and its volunteers in a geographic locality. The LC is
    Eligibility        appointed for a one year term, contingent upon satisfactory annual review, and may
                       be re-appointed for subsequent one year terms. The LC is eligible for other AARP or
                       AARP Foundation volunteer positions.

 Time, Training, &     Time commitment varies according to geographic area and number of volunteers.
  Travel Required      The position demands more time from September to May. The LC must acquire the
                       knowledge of all procedures associated with the program, visit training locations and
                       tax assistance sites, and attend district meetings.

Appointed By,          The LC is appointed by the District Coordinator with concurrence of the State
Supervisor,            Coordinator and reports directly to the District Coordinator. The LC supervises
& Scope of Authority   Counselors, EROs, SCOs, and Client Facilitators and administers the program
                       policies at the tax assistance sites.

Working Relations & The LC works closely with the District Coordinator, Counselors, EROs, SCOs,
 Progress Review    Client Facilitators, Instructors, Technology Coordinators, and the Administrative
                       Specialist. Performance monitoring is on-going by the DC.

Available Resources    The LC will be afforded the necessary guidance, training and materials needed to
                       facilitate leadership responsibilities, with support from the District Coordinator and
                       other district level volunteer leaders, National Office staff, and the IRS. AARP Tax-
                       Aide reimburses volunteers for covered program related expense as set out in the
                       Policy Manual.

  Volunteer Policy     AARP Foundation volunteers will receive equal opportunity and treatment
                       throughout recruitment, appointment, training, and service. There will be no
                       discrimination based on age, disabilities, gender, race, national or ethnic origin,
                       religion, economic status, or sexual orientation.

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 5
                            Local Coordinator Activity Schedule
September      Receive appointment confirmation from supervisor.
               Assess program needs and solicit any needed new sites for upcoming season.
               Contact returning site volunteers and recruit, through January, new volunteers as needed.
               Contact existing sites for availability and to reserve days and time.
               Submit final itemized expenses incurred prior to 9/30 (end of fiscal year), if any.

October        Attend district meeting as required.
               Plan work and discuss Counselor training needs with District Coordinator (DC) and Instructors.

November       Finalize tax assistance sites with DC.
               Receive Administrative Packet with materials from AARP Tax-Aide.
               Order additional materials from AARP Tax-Aide as needed, especially the AARP program poster
               with the civil rights language and Tax Record Envelopes.
               Order needed items from IRS, including the IRS Intake form and needed tax forms for the season.
               Continue recruiting new volunteers.

December       Notify all site volunteers of training locations, dates/times, parking, etc.
               Properly dispose of Volunteer Standards of Conduct form held from the prior tax season.

January        Attend and monitor Counselor training classes.
               Ensure that AARP Tax-Aide program policy and procedures training is covered.
               Ensure distribution of Counselor Digests and AARP name badges to site volunteers.
               Verify that all site volunteers have received copies of and understand the Confidentiality and
               Security of Taxpayer Data section in the Counselor Digest.
               Receive Counselors' test grades from Instructors.
               Collect signed Volunteers Standard of Conduct forms for all volunteers working at sites.
               Schedule site volunteers to work at tax assistance sites.
               Implement local publicity with assistance from Communications and District Coordinators.
               Distribute posters, banners and counter-tops, publicizing tax assistance sites.
               Update All Volunteer Roster and return to DC along with personnel forms.

February       Open and monitor tax assistance sites for quality and program policy and procedure compliance.
               Ensure that all sites are displaying the AARP Tax-Aide Civil rights program poster during site
               operating hours and using IRS Intake forms and AARP Tax Record Envelopes.
               Explain Site Sign-in Sheet procedures to Counselors and provide site identification number (SIDN)
               to be entered on all federal returns prepared.
               Collect site statistics, personally or by delegate for the 1st reporting period; submit via Web system.

March          Collect site statistics, personally or by delegate for the 2nd reporting period; submit via Web system.
               Monitor sites and adjust site and Counselor schedules as necessary.

April          Collect final site statistics, personally or by delegate and submit them using the Web system.
               Collect flat-rate reimbursement signatures or have Shift Coordinators, Counselors, EROs, or Client
               Facilitators submit expense statements.
               Review, approve within the guidelines and caps established by the state, sign, and mail expenses
               according to procedure.
               Conduct end-of-season volunteer performance evaluation and appreciation process.
               Send recognition letters and/or certificates to sites.
               Participate in DC end-of-season evaluation process, and recommend program improvements.

As Required:   Submit expense statement to DC monthly, quarterly, or end of season.

                                           LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 6
   Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinator, and Client Facilitator Recruitment

Recruitment      Recruitment of new volunteers is essential to the AARP Tax-Aide program. It is the
General          responsibility of all AARP Tax-Aide volunteers to actively recruit new volunteers by
                 being alert for individuals who might be interested in participating in the program.

Diversity        Recruitment of AARP Tax-Aide volunteers and coordinators from diverse populations
Recruitment      must be stressed, especially when there is a significant segment of diverse racial/ethnic
                 population with the district. Special attention should be given to potential volunteers
                 that support the local community language(s). Recruiting must be done on a non-
                 discriminatory basis without consideration of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, or
                 sexual orientation.

Local             Quantifiable data shows that the vast majority of new volunteers come from the local
Recruiting-      level. All volunteers can and should recruit new Counselors, EROs, Shift
Word of Mouth    Coordinators (SCOs), and Client Facilitators. Word-of-mouth recruitment to friends
and Site Level   and acquaintances is particularly effective. Customers who show proficiency
                 preparing their own taxes are good candidates for Counselors. Another successful
                 method is to provide AARP Tax-Aide site sponsors one page recruiting information
                 suitable for placement in the site bulletin boards or in their newsletters.

Media and Web Local newspaper stories about the need for volunteers are effective. Local
Recruiting    Coordinators should attempt to place these, unless there’s a Communications
                 Coordinator appointed to handle this. (See Generating Publicity section of this Local
                 Coordinator Digest for more information on this topic.) Another good source,
                 especially as we need e-filing volunteers, is to recruit on the Internet. Try volunteer
                 recruitment messages on volunteer recruitment websites such as Volunteer Match and
                 especially those locally focused, such as your area’s United Way, RSVP, and other
                 local non-profits, local governments, or local employer sites. Many local governments
                 and local employers support volunteerism and may publicize AARP Tax-Aide

888# &           Year round recruitment is supported by the AARP Tax-Aide web site:
Automatic        www.aarp.org/taxaide and the toll-free number 888-OURAARP (888-687-2277).
Referral         AARP’s volunteer site, AARP’s Create the Good, also lists AARP Tax-Aide volunteer
Pipelines        opportunities and does so at the site level. Potential volunteer names and contact
                 information from AARP’s website (either AARP Tax-Aide’s or Create The Good)
                 are now immediately forwarded to the Prospective Volunteer Coordinator or the State
                 Coordinator designate through the new recruitment system. They, in turn, forwarded
                 the prospect to district and local volunteers for follow up.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 7
Recruitment        AARP Tax-Aide materials are available to assist in recruiting volunteers:
Materials           Recruitment brochures and position descriptions
                    Site posters adapted for recruitment
                    Sample public service announcements
                    Countertop holders and exhibit panels

                   To order these materials, use the AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form (in the
                   Administrative Packet in which this digest was sent, on the Extranet at
                   www.aarp.org/tavolunteers or copy the sample included in this digest).

                                        Training and Testing
Classroom Tax       Counselors receive annual training which includes income tax information,
Training            procedures for preparing tax forms and required quality review, program policy, and
                    administrative reporting. The training sessions are generally three to five days.
                    Experienced Counselors may require only a refresher course of a few days of classes,
                    or a more in-depth training in tax laws and program policy and procedure changes.
                    Training in e-filing is included now as part of the new Process Based Training (PBT)
                    in Pub 4491. All volunteers must attend the policy and procedure issues training, no
                    exceptions. A PowerPoint training module was developed for local leaders and
                    Instructors to use to conduct program policy and procedures training for counselors,
                    EROs, Client Facilitators and any other non-counselor positions (available on the
                    aarp.org\tavolunteers Extranet site). See program policy and procedures training
                    below. A new presentation for Quality Review is also available on that site.

Preparatory Tax     A growing number of Instructors are working with Local Coordinators to convene
Orientation         new prospective Counselors in a preparatory tax orientation class, typically in the
                    fall preceding formal January training. Regardless of the method and scheduling
                    used, Counselor training should consist in total of approximately five days of
                    instruction and testing time. This can consist of a single session of five days, or may
                    be broken into separate periods – the total of which is still the five days of training.
                    A sixth day of training may be necessary if state taxes are prepared.

Scheduling Tax      Local Coordinators help the Training Specialist and/or Instructor identify training
Classes             locations, and assist with the delivery of materials. LCs typically help notify
                    Counselors about the classes and assure that everyone is slotted to a class.

Tax Training        Counselors must be certified annually at the Advanced level of the IRS training
Topics (Scope of    materials and will assist taxpayers only on those topics that are within the scope of
Assistance) and
                    the program. Scope includes tax topics covered in IRS volunteer training materials
                    or in AARP Tax-Aide training classes provided that Counselors have been qualified
                    under AARP Tax-Aide procedures. Counselors are not to deal with topics
                    (including state returns) on which they have not received AARP Tax-Aide training.
                    Training for state returns must be a part of the Counselor training class and training
                    should be limited to the state where the class is being given, neighboring states, and
                    those that have a large “snowbird” populations. All AARP Tax-Aide Counselors

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 8
                   must pass the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced parts of the test. The printed test
                   results for all three levels and a signed copy of the Standards of Conduct Agreement
                   will be turned into the designated Instructor in the district where they will be

Tax Training       All tax training materials – including tax forms and publications – are provided by
Materials          the IRS upon receipt of orders from the Training Specialist or Instructors.
                   Alternative material should not be used and expenses related to the development of
                   unauthorized alternatives will not be reimbursed. State material is usually provided
                   by the state taxation agency upon request.

Site and Program   Site and program policy and procedures training is conducted during Fall meetings
Policy Training    with Coordinators at all levels, and informally throughout the year by supervising
for Coordinators   coordinators. Meetings, Cybertax email, correspondence, telephone calls, the
                   Internet, and the Manual/Digests are used to convey new or revised procedures. A
                   PowerPoint presentation (Quality Site Requirements) has been developed for Local
                   Coordinators, Shift Coordinators, and others to communicate site requirements to
                   site level volunteers (see next section on Program Policy and Procedures Training).

Program Policy     Program policy and procedures training for Counselors, EROs, and Client
and Procedures     Facilitators must be an integral part of the Counselor classes conducted in December
Training for       or January. For simplification and standardization, a PowerPoint training module
Counselors,        was developed for local leaders and Instructors to use to conduct program policy and
EROs, and Client
                   procedures training for Counselors, EROs, Client Facilitators and any other non-
                   counselor positions. A Counselor Digest should be distributed and reviewed by
                   Local Coordinators with these volunteers along with other training materials,
                   especially the Statement of Understanding for Counselors in the Counselor Digest,
                   the section on Taxpayer Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data in that same
                   document and the Volunteer Standards of Conduct. Additionally, these volunteers
                   must understand how to record assistance provided on the Site Sign-in Sheets and
                   submit them, seek reimbursement or not, and the need for word-of-mouth
                   promotion. There is a Self-Study Quiz on program operation in this and the
                   Counselor Digest that should be used to help volunteers understand key program
                   policies and procedures.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 9
                             Volunteer Rosters & Record Keeping

Position               RC       Regional Coordinator             PVC         Prospective Volunteer Coordinator
Abbreviations          SC       State Coordinator                INS         Instructor
(also notated on the   ADS      Administration Specialist        CC          Communications Coordinator
organization chart)
                       PCS      Partnership and                  TC          Technology Coordinator
                                Communications Specialist        TRC         Training Coordinator
                       TRS      Training Specialist              AC          Administrative Coordinator
                       TCS      Technology Specialist            DC          District Coordinator
                       LC       Local Coordinator                CF          Client Facilitator
                       SCO      Shift Coordinator                COU         Counselor
                                                                 ERO         Electronic Return Originator

All-Volunteer          Local Coordinators receive an All Volunteer Roster (AVR) in January from the
Roster                 state’s ADS usually routed to the LC through his or her DC. The AVR includes all
                       the Counselors, EROs, Shift Coordinators, and Clients Facilitators who reported to
                       the LC in the previous year. LCs should then follow the roster updating procedure
                       below to complete the certification process.

Procedure for          Edits of misspelled name, address, phone number, position, supervising ID#, and year
Updating Rosters       started should be made directly on the roster. Another volunteer's name may not be
                       substituted in an existing record. To change a leader to a non-leader position, mark
                       through the leader title(s) and note the proper title, or add the non-leader title if the
                       title is not on the roster. For volunteers becoming leaders, write the leader title(s) and
                       retain any appropriate non-leader title. Once marked up, the volunteer roster should
                       be sent to the ADS who will update the national database and/or coordinate with the
                       National Office as appropriate to ensure that the national volunteer database is

Forms To Use for Supervising coordinators use personnel forms (paper or electronic version) to add
new volunteers   new volunteers, with separate forms for COU, ERO, SCOs and CF; and leaders.
and late changes (Note: an email containing the same information as the personnel forms is also
                       acceptable documentation.) After updated rosters have been submitted, additional
                       Leadership, COU, ERO, and CF changes are reported via personnel forms or
                       appropriate email format to the ADS.

Volunteer              AARP has a national database (VMIS) of all volunteers participating in programs it
Database               provides. Once a volunteer is entered into the database, they are assigned an
(VMIS)                 identification number (ID#). This number is unique to the volunteer and a volunteer
                       is given only one ID#. This database must be accurate, as it drives creation of the
                       flat rate form for reimbursement, materials shipment, and insurance certification.
                       Careful LC attention to roster editing and personnel information is critical.

“Inactive” Status      If a volunteer is not serving during a particular tax season that volunteer’s ID# is
                       marked “Inactive” in the national database. If the volunteer returns to the program,
                       their ID# marker is changed to “Active.” A marker of “Remove” in the national
                       database indicates a duplicate record or a volunteer who is deceased.

                                             LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 10
                    Recognition of Service & Performance Reviews

Award            Award certificates are available for presentation to Counselors, EROs, Shift
Certificates     Coordinators, and Client Facilitators and to people outside of the program who
                 helped to make it a success, such as site sponsors (see AARP Tax-Aide
                 Program Volunteer/Site Recognition Order Form on the volunteer Extranet and
                 later in this Guide). IRS also presents certificates at the end of season
                 meetings, if requested.

Service Pins &   Service pins are available for five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, and
Plaques          thirty-five years of service; plaques are available for twenty, twenty-five, thirty,
                 and thirty-five years of service. State Coordinators or Administrative
                 Specialists are responsible for ordering and distributing the plaques. Pins and
                 plaques can be order via the Volunteer/Site Recognition Order Form on the
                 volunteer Extranet.

Recognition      Recognition events and end-of-season celebrations are valuable, but
Events           expenditures must be held to a minimum. Mileage is not reimbursed for these
                 events. The State Coordinator must be consulted before planning special
                 events and incurring other than nominal (cake or cookies) costs to the program.
                 See section on expense reimbursement for more details.

Counselor,       It is critical to the improvement and ultimate success of the program that
ERO, and         volunteer supervisors give on-going constructive feedback to volunteers
Client           about their performance. This is especially, though not exclusively,
Facilitator      important for Counselors about the accuracy of the returns they prepare.
                 Counselors should be given timely feedback regarding tax law, using
                 TaxWise™, effective interviewing, etc. in order to help Counselors
                 improve their accuracy. Constructive feedback for all volunteers is for
                 improvement but positive feedback to volunteers is also very important.
                 Constructive feedback for improvement should be given but also should
                 positive feedback, as a form of thanks and appreciation.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 11
                         Submitting Tax Assistance Activity Data
Why Report        Reporting activity levels is important to the AARP Tax-Aide Program. This
Activity?         information is needed to support funding requests, such as with the IRS and
                  AARP, as well as to help in managing the program at the regional, state,
                  district, and site levels.

Activity          The process for collecting and reporting on activities will be very similar to the
Reporting         process utilized last year in the Web-based Activity Reporting system. The
Process           Activity Reporting process automatically combines information that volunteers
                  self report with data from other systems (such as TaxWise™ and surveys), to
                  develop a total picture of the activities and services performed by volunteers
                  throughout the country. There are only six pieces of information that
                  volunteers are required to report on by submitting the information via the
                  Activity Reporting Web screen on the volunteer Extranet (under “Hot Topics”
                  at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers. It is strongly recommended that prior to the
                  beginning of the season that Local Coordinators review the training documents
                  and information about the Activity Reporting process and system on the
                  volunteer Extranet. This information is located under the “Manuals, Policy
                  and Procedures” tab on the Extranet.

What              The information on the number of people served will come from two separate
information       sources: volunteer self reported information and alternate sources of
will and will     information (TaxWise™ or surveys). The information collected will consist of:
not be
requested from    Volunteer Self Reported:                 Alternate Sources of Information:
                     Federal Returns (Current Year)        E-file returns accepted this tax season
                     Federal Returns (Prior Year)          E-file Joint Returns, current year
                     Federal Returns (Amended)                 and accepted this tax season
                     State/Local Only Returns              E-file State Returns completed this
                     Questions & Answers Only                  tax season where a federal return
                     All Quality Review –                       was also done
                        2nd Counselor’s Initials

How will the      We will be using both the volunteer self reported information and the
total number of   information from alternate sources to calculate the total number of people
people helped     helped. Specifically, it will include:
be calculated?     Total # federal returns
                   Total # Q&A
                   Total # Federal returns amended
                   Total # Federal returns for prior year (a single count regardless of the
                      number of years)
                   Total # of State/Local Only Returns
                   The above total is then multiplied by a common factor for joint returns and
                      other activities as shown in the TaxWise™ data (also referred to as data
                      from alternate sources)

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 12
Site Sign-in     The Site Sign-In sheet will essentially be the same as last season’s form. Each
Sheets           sheet can be used to record up to 20 points of service (sometimes referred to as
                 an interview). On it are the specific columns of information that volunteers are
                 being asked to collect in this process. On the back of the form are instructions
                 and definitions. Please ensure these instructions and definitions are reviewed
                 by Counselors and other volunteers reporting activity on this form.
                 The Sign-in sheet is available for ordering from the AARP fulfillment
                 warehouse, is shown in the back of this guide, and is available on the volunteer

Recording        Counselors should fill out a line on the Site Sign-in Sheet each time they help a
Service          taxpayer. Service for the same taxpayer must not be spread out on separate
                 lines of the Site Sign-in Sheet. In other words, only use one line for a
                 taxpayer. Columns on the form need to be totaled before they are submitted.
                 Completed sheets are collected by the LCs, or a designated volunteer, and the
                 site totals tabulated in the manner determined by the State Coordinator. On a
                 regular basis, but not less than on a monthly basis, these tabulated totals must
                 be submitted via the Activity Reporting Web screen.

                 If volunteers assist significant taxpayers away from a site, they may want to
                 keep a separate sign-in sheet or find another method of capturing this
                 important service so that it is not left out of program activity counts.

                 The service being recorded includes information on returns submitted to the
                 IRS as well as related services that do not result in a tax return being
                 submitted. Only through the diligent efforts of the volunteers can a complete
                 reporting of all the services be captured for the program. Therefore it is critical
                 that the services provided be recorded on a regular basis.

Site Sign-in     The Reporting schedule is defined as monthly for the program (although there
Sheet            may be additional reporting requirements within your state\split-state); and the
Collection       Site Sign-in Sheets should be submitted by site volunteers as directed by their
Schedule         coordinators.

                 During the season there are three reporting periods where activity reporting
                 will need to be compiled and reported into the Activity Reporting system. The
                 tax season reporting periods will end on the last day of February, the last day
                 of March, and the last day of April. LCs and DCs will have five days after the
                 close of the reporting period to add or modify any information to the Activity
                 Reporting Web screen.

Reporting        Although the majority of the services provided to the taxpayers are done during
Services         the regular tax filing season, some services are provided outside of this period
Provided         (and cover the period of April 30th through September 30th).
outside of the
Tax Season       For services during this period, the site sign in sheet can also be used to collect
                 the six pieces of information. This data should be submitted directly into the
                 national database, VMIS, by the ADS with SC review.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 13
Recording         Quality review is reported by initialing the appropriate columns on the Site
Quality Review    Sign-in Sheet on the lines for each taxpayer for whom returns are reviewed by
                  a second Counselor. Coordinators should assist site volunteers as necessary in
                  completing the sign-in sheets accurately and completely.

Submitting Site   The Activity Reporting Web submission process has been created to assist LC
Summary           and DC volunteers with submitting activity reports on the six pieces of
Information       information volunteers collect. The Web screen is available 24 hours as day, 7
                  days a week from any computer with access to the Internet throughout the tax
                  season. This process works with both dial-up and high speed Internet. The
                  State Coordinator sets the policy within the state for accessing and submitting
                  information using this Web screen process; however there are predefined dates
                  in which the site data will be collected by the system and loaded into the
                  national database. At a minimum, the due dates for reporting are the last day
                  of February, the last day of March and April. Ask your supervisor to clarify
                  your state’s procedures and schedule for reporting data.

                  Regardless of the specific procedures used by your state, summarized site
                  information is to be submitted into the national database on a monthly basis
                  throughout the tax season. Therefore do not send your reports directly to the
                  National Office.

Shut-Ins and      Additional information will be collected using an alternate method, i.e. the
service and       taxpayer survey. In order to more accurately capture all of our service to
Taxpayers with    people with disabilities, not just shut-ins, without adding workload on
Disabilities      volunteers, the survey of taxpayers which collects information such as taxpayer
                  demographics will include a question on whether the taxpayer is disabled.
                  Therefore, we will no longer require volunteers to manually collect
                  information on shut-ins. The new process of collecting this type of information
                  will be easier for volunteers and will give us a more complete picture of our
                  service to taxpayers with disabilities, not just shut-in visits.

Recording         This information will be collected using alternative methods. These include
Volunteer         the volunteer survey already conducted regularly by AARP. Other existing
Hours             information in the volunteer and site management database will also be used to
                  develop volunteer hours. No information or reporting is required from
                  Coordinators for this purpose.

Where to get      Complete presentations and training materials are available from your State
more              Management Team and are also posted on the volunteer Extranet.
information on
this process

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 14
                        Site Management, Selection & Schedules
Selecting Sites   LCs are responsible for securing as many sites as necessary for the area, and assigning
                  the appropriate number of Counselors, EROs, Shift Coordinators, and Client
                  Facilitators as determined by potential target population. The space must be provided
                  rent-free. Assistance should be provided at a public place, but where privacy will
                  assure confidentiality. Service cannot be provided in volunteers’ homes.

                  Because the target population for AARP Tax-Aide assistance is low- and moderate-
                  income taxpayers with special attention to those age 60 and over, sites should be
                  located in communities where they are most accessible to these taxpayers.

                  With electronic filing, the use of larger sites is strongly recommended as they provide:
                   better utilization of computer resources and volunteers,
                   more tax and computer on-site expertise,
                   more options for quality review of all returns, especially using designated
                     reviewer(s), and
                   greater visibility to the public and easier word-of-mouth referrals.

Site Retention    Since most of our customers return year after year, Coordinators should attempt to
                  keep sites active for each tax season or help customers find us if you do need to move
                  or close a site. Site consolidation or relocation can be necessary to maximize
                  resources, especially for e-filing (see above) or if many sites are too closely located.

Sample Site       Senior centers         Schools             Libraries             Banks
Possibilities     Hospitals              Churches/synagogues Civic centers
                  Recreation centers     Shopping malls      Fraternal organizations

Requisite Site       Public places convenient to older persons; accessible to the handicapped.
Features             Convenient to public transportation and/or parking.
                     Accessible to rest rooms and telephones.
                     Conducive to confidential interviews, and well-lighted, with tables and chairs
                     Willing to post AARP Tax-Aide poster, with civil rights language, to inform
                      taxpayers of and to direct them to the service.
                     Rent-free. The site must be provided at no cost, including defrayal of heat and
                      janitorial service for the 10-week period.
                     Free from any suggestion of gratuity, donation, or solicitation.

Isolated          AARP Tax-Aide is proud of and will certainly continue to support volunteers’ long
Locations         standing dedicated service to rural taxpayers. However, service to the most
                  rural/isolated locations may not be required on a weekly basis; nor should one-person
                  sites be established. Therefore, other cost-effective options should be considered to
                  provide service and manage related costs:.
                       Send a team of two or more Counselors once or several times during the
                       Assess availability of AARP Tax-Aide service in nearby towns and refer

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 15
                        taxpayers to those sites.
                       Request that persons be brought to the nearest site by senior van, carpool, etc.
                       Refer the taxpayer to other providers or the IRS

Walk-In &        Tax assistance services may be set up by the LC based on walk-in service, prior
Appointment      appointment, or a combination of both. Appointment basis requires that a volunteer,
Sites            or a person at the site, receives the calls and schedule appointments from an advertised
                 telephone number. reminding the taxpayer in advance what documents are needed. If
                 a site is a walk-in site, priority must be given to those 60 if requested. Some sites use
                 a combination of schedule and walk-in to help avoid lost time for missed appointment
                 or taxpayer failure to bring needed documents.

                 At all sites, a sign-in sheet (listing taxpayer name only; no other identifying
                 information may be requested) is used to establish the sequence of interviews and
                 record the assistance provided for reporting purposes.

Site             Sites should be open at least four hours at a time. Longer hours are used very
Availability     efficiently in both isolated sites where sites are opened longer but less frequently as
                 well as sites where demand is very heavy and longer hours are necessary to help meet
                 that demand. Most sites are open one or more days each week during the tax season.
                 Many are open multiple days per week to maximize e-file resources.

Volunteer       Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators are assigned to the AARP Tax-Aide sites
Assignment to a based on program requirements, then preference. Due to significantly increasing
Site            mileage expenses for volunteers, LCs (and DCs) are asked to review how far a
                 volunteer may be driving as one consideration as the LC/DC assigns volunteers to
                 specific sites for the coming tax season. See scheduling information form in the back
                 of this Counselor Digest. At least two Counselors must be assigned to every site to
                 ensure quality review of returns. New Counselors are placed with experienced
                 Counselors for support and encouragement. Special assignments for shut-in visits,
                 isolated locations, foreign languages, and other special events may occur. Sites are
                 never in volunteers’ homes.

Foreign          Foreign Language assistance is offered at some sites. AARP Tax-Aide volunteers
Language         are encouraged to recruit individuals with foreign language skills to serve those in the
Assistance       community who are not familiar with English. Depending on the community,
                 Counselors offer services in as many as 18 languages, including American Sign
                 Language (ASL) for the hearing impaired. This service should be publicized at the
                 AARP Tax-Aide site if at all possible. Taxpayers may also provide their own
                 interpreters; however, the AARP Tax-Aide program does not pay for interpreter
                 services except, and only as a last resort, for ASL for the hearing impaired in
                 compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (National Office approval is
                 required in advance of contracting paid ASL service).

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 16
                                    Generating Local Publicity
Publicity Goals    Our publicity goals are to publicize the availability of free tax assistance for taxpayers
                   with low- and moderate-income, with special attention to those age 60 and older, and
                   to recruit new AARP Tax-Aide volunteers through a variety of efforts. Letting the
                   public know about the AARP Tax-Aide program is essential to its continued success.

Value of Local     The most effective publicity is achieved at the local level. All AARP Tax-Aide
Publicity          volunteers play an integral part in publicizing the program. Whether it’s telling a
                   friend about your volunteer service through the program, or being asked to speak
                   about AARP Tax-Aide on a local television station or at a senior center, spreading
                   the news about our free service and the need for new volunteers is the key to success.

AARP’s & IRS’      AARP offers a cadre of communications professionals who can assist you with your
Professional       publicity efforts: the AARP Tax-Aide Partnership and Communications Specialist in
Help               your state and Communications Coordinator in your district, and staff and volunteers
                   in your AARP state office that work with the media and communications. They can
                   help you determine the best publicity tactics to use to reach your goal and will help
                   coordinate AARP publicity efforts to diminish competition for scarce media access
                   and increase program visibility.

Display Posters,   The National Office produces many different program posters, flyers and brochures to
Flyers, &          assist with program publicity and recruitment. Display these posters, program flyers
Brochures          and brochures locally in heavily-traveled public areas, such as grocery
                   stores/pharmacies, malls, and public buildings, as well as in churches, senior centers,
                   libraries, nursing homes, and hospitals. See Ordering Program Materials section of
                   this digest for more information.

Event              Read your local newspapers for times, dates, and locations of county fairs, parades,
Participation      civic celebrations, volunteer drives, and social service fairs. Attend and distribute
                   program information or ask to have an AARP Tax-Aide table available. Attend
                   networking events for professionals serving seniors and ask to speak about AARP

Seek Sponsor       Visit your local site sponsors, senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, ethnic
Publicity          community centers, and churches and ask them to place AARP Tax-Aide articles in
                   their newsletters and bulletins. List AARP Tax-Aide’s toll-free number (1-888-227-
                   7669) and web address (www.aarp.org/taxaide) in local telephone directories (at no
                   charge) and in community-based service guides.

AARP               Contact the AARP Tax-Aide Partnership and Communications Specialist in your
Collaboration      state to explore how you can work together to publicize AARP Tax-Aide in
                   conjunction with other AARP programs and services.

Referral Help      Contact local caregiving organizations and the Area Agency on Aging in your region
                   to inform them about AARP Tax-Aide and ask for customer referral.

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 17
                                              Media Tips

Coordinate       Coordinating publicity activities with AARP communications volunteers and staff will
Efforts          ensure that AARP media outreach activities for all programs are not competing with
                 one another.

Avoid Too        Too frequent contact can be detrimental because reporters and editors are on tight
Frequent         deadlines. Make your points succinctly and clearly. If they have additional questions,
Contact          they will contact you. Return calls promptly.

Prepare          Always provide the media with well-prepared, error-free news releases, fact sheets,
Information      articles or stories that include basic information about the program and any boilerplate
                 language. Much of this information, including program ads, has already been prepared
                 by national staff and is available through your District or Communications
                 Coordinator or on the volunteer website at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers in the
                 Partnership and Communications Guide. Ad slicks are available on the website and
                 can be sent directly to the media outlets. Be prepared with national, state, and local
                 statistics about the number of people served by AARP Tax-Aide.

Minimize         When multiple contacts at the same media outlet are given the same information, let
Duplication      each know that others will receive it so that it can be rewritten to minimize

Develop &        Develop a list of local media contacts and update the list regularly. Collect the names,
Maintain         addresses, and phone and fax numbers of the local daily and weekly newspapers in
Contacts         your community. Don’t forget about senior papers and other community publications.
                 Also list the news and public affairs shows on local radio and television. Include the
                 names of the editors, reporters, and producers.

Working With       Suggest photo opportunities.
Newspapers         Mail or fax news releases at least two weeks before an event.
                   Mail or fax media advisories four to seven days before an event.
                   Confirm receipt of the release (once), and return reporters’ calls promptly.
                   Know the newspaper’s and reporter’s deadlines.
                   Make sure your story is newsworthy (involves people, is timely and accurate).

Letters to the   A good letter to the editor should:
Editor            Be brief (250 words or less), accurate, and use simple language;
                  Open with a thought that’s provoking, interesting, and timely;
                  If responding to something published, include the name, date and headline of
                  Be signed (don't be surprised if a paper calls to verify your signature).
                 Sample letters are also available through your leaders or on the volunteer website in
                 the Partnership & Communication Guide at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 18
                           Talking Points About AARP Tax-Aide

Program Basics      AARP Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest, free volunteer-run tax assistance service.
                     It is offered to low- and moderate- income taxpayers, with special attention to
                     those age 60 and older.
                    Program volunteers assist with filing the 1040 form and the more standard
                     schedules A, B, C-EZ and D.
                    AARP Tax-Aide is administered by the AARP Foundation.
                    Last year, approximately 34,600 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers helped over 2.6
                     million taxpayers file their federal, state, and local returns.
                    AARP Tax-Aide volunteers assisted with preparation of approximately one-half of
                     the federal returns prepared by all IRS supported volunteer programs combined.
                    AARP Tax-Aide serves 95% of the people assisted by the IRS Tax Counseling for
                     the Elderly (TCE) programs.
                    Currently, AARP Tax-Aide has approximately 6,500 sites nationwide, most of
                     which provide free e-file service.

Program             AARP Tax-Aide began in 1968 with four volunteers providing tax assistance to
History              older taxpayers in the District of Columbia. Since 1980, the program has operated
                     under a cooperative agreement with the IRS as part of the IRS Tax Counseling for
                     the Elderly program.
                    In 1996, AARP Tax-Aide transferred the federal funds for and the administration
                     of the AARP Tax-Aide program to the AARP Foundation in accordance with the
                     Lobbying and Disclosure Act of 1995.
                    In 2009 AARP Tax-Aide celebrated it’s 41st Anniversary assisting low-and
                     moderate- income taxpayers.

Community           AARP Tax-Aide services are available during the standard 1040 filing season
Service              through April 15th each year at approximately 6,500 sites nationwide. AARP
                     Tax-Aide provides face-to-face tax assistance at sites across the country located in
                     senior centers, community centers, libraries, and other convenient locations.
                    AARP Tax-Aide offers free electronic filing at most sites nationwide.
                    AARP Tax-Aide provides 24-hour year round Internet tax assistance service at its
                     web site www.aarp.org/taxaide. Taxpayers can pose questions online and get
                     quality-reviewed answers back within three to five business days.
                    When and where possible, AARP Tax-Aide also provides tax assistance to people
                     age 60 and older unable to leave their homes.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 19
Program            AARP Tax-Aide assistance is provided by approximately 34,600 volunteers across
Volunteers          the country who are trained and IRS-certified to assist with filing the 1040 form
                    and the more standard schedules, including Schedules A, B, C-EZ and D.
                   Volunteer positions include: (1) Counselors who provide one-on-one assistance to
                    low- and moderate- income taxpayers; (2) EROs who transmit returns through the
                    software provider to the IRS; (3) Client Facilitators who play a key role in keeping
                    busy sites running smoothly; (4) Instructors who train Counselors on income tax
                    information and tax return preparation; and (5) Coordinators who serve as leaders
                    supervising and directing AARP Tax-Aide program activities in accordance with
                    program policy.

For More           For sites, call our toll-free number at 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669)
Information        Visit our public website at www.aarp.org/taxaide
                   Visit our volunteer website at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers

 Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinator, and Client Facilitator Responsibility for
Need for        We’re in this to help people, specifically to help them with their taxes. In order to
Promotion       help as many people as possible, we need to promote the program.

Word-of-        We offer an outstanding service and serve huge numbers of people, but many people
Mouth           still have never heard of us! Those who have are most likely to have been told by one
Promotion       of our customers. Word-of-mouth promotion is our most effective way of reaching
                our audience – our customers should be bragging about us! Counselors are perfectly
                positioned to encourage our customers to tell someone else about our service.

Need for        AARP Tax-Aide is always looking for good volunteers. Word-of-mouth promotion
Volunteers      from our current volunteers is one of our best recruitment sources. If someone you
                talk to is interested in becoming an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer, they can visit our
                website at www.aarp.org/taxaide and complete our online volunteer recruitment form
                or call toll-free, 1-888-OURAARP (1-888-687-2277). Don’t overlook our customers
                as volunteers. Many current Counselors were pulled from our customer base when we
                saw what a good job they did preparing their own returns!

Intent of Tax   The Tax Record Envelope contains important legal and other disclosure language for
Record          clients. It also encourages storage of necessary tax record information and reminds
Envelope        customers of AARP Tax-Aide, how to reach us and find a site next year and increases
                the likelihood of repeat, and even new, business.

Use of Tax      Tax Record Envelopes are also available from Local Coordinators. Due to the
Record          important disclosure information and the attached Customer Satisfaction Survey,
Envelope        AARP Tax-Aide envelopes must be given to all customers for whom a tax return is
                prepared. IRS envelopes cannot be used in place of the AARP Tax-Aide envelope.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 20
                               Site Information and Site Lists

Importance of   Accurate Site lists and schedule information ultimately lead customers to our sites.
Accurate Site   Whether calling a local office (for example, IRS district office) that has a printed list or
Lists           accessing the site database directly via the 888# or Web page, the customer relies
                entirely on the accuracy of the data. If data is incorrect or missing, the customer is
                misdirected or a valued site is overlooked. Both consequences are bad for the program
                and its volunteers.

                The National Office receives this updated information from the volunteer leadership
                directly from the information put into the Web tool or via the ADS’ efforts to update
                the national database (see below). The National Office in turn updates all AARP
                systems (888# and Web) and also notifies the IRS about changes to site information via
                an automatic process. This automatic updating process to the IRS occurs twice a week,
                52 weeks a year. Additionally, the accuracy of the site information has an impact on
                the ordering of IRS tax software (a site must be listed as an e-file site in the national
                database in order to receive software.)

Site Lists &    LCs and DCs have two options to update site information and site schedules; the
Forms           manual option involving site forms and lists and the Site Management and Updating
                Web tool enabling direct entries and updates. LCs and DCs should follow the
                directions given by their SC regarding the use of either system.

                Manual option
                Site lists and forms (or email containing comparable information) is used to collect and
                submit new and updated information about sites to the Administrative Specialist for
                your state. The ADS typically distributes a site list in the fall to the coordinators so that
                they can update site information. This list is marked up with changes, deletions,
                additions as necessary and sent back to the ADS. The ADS then inputs changes to the
                national database. The site forms referenced are available for ordering and are posted
                on the volunteer Extranet at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

                Site Management and Updating Web
                This tool streamlines site management and information processes, providing access to
                DC/LCs directly on any computer with Internet access, while allowing ADS and SC
                oversight and quality control. This system increases flexibility and accuracy allowing
                24/7 access and those with direct knowledge of the data to input it.

                The Site Management and Updating Web tool enables LCs to sign on with their
                Volunteer ID number and verify (and in some cases modify) Site Information including
                contact name and telephone numbers, location address, hours of operation, e-file status,
                assigned Local and District Coordinator, opening and closing dates, open and close
                times, appointment requirements (if any), location type, languages spoken, handicap
                accessibility, and prior year activity statistics. Changes are immediately reflected on
                the AARP site locator website and on the AARP Tax-Aide 888 # within 24 hours once
                the volunteer hits “save”. Leaders can also request an insurance binder for a site.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 21
Site Number /     Each site is required to have a unique identification number (SIDN). This number is
Identifier        shown on the Web-enabled tool and is used for reporting activity counts. If this
                  number is not known, it can be obtained from the supervising coordinator or the
                  Administrative Specialist. This number is to be used on all paper and e-filed returns.

District or       Each site must have an assigned a District and Local Coordinator in the national
Local             database. These volunteers must also hold the title of District or Local Coordinator in
Coordinators to   order to be listed with the site in the database. This database requirement is needed to
a site
                  improve the accessibility of the activity reporting system as well as the web enabled
                  site management system.

Closing or
Deactivating a    If a site is permanently closed or a duplicate is discovered in the site list, coordinators
Site              should write “R” (Remove) in the space on the list or form for "Site Status." If a site is
                  just closing for this season but may be reactivated in the future, they should write "I"
                  (Inactive) in the space for "Site Status." Columns have been added to the right of the
                  report to permit printing of error messages when the coordinator information that was
                  provided is incorrect. The ADS is responsible for updating the national database
                  within site information changes. These changes, at this time, cannot be changed with
                  the Web tool and must be communicated to your ADS.

Contact Names
& Telephone       The space labeled "Contact Name" may be a person's name, or title such as receptionist
Numbers           or appointment taker, or may be left blank. The space labeled "Contact Phone" is the
                  number for a taxpayer to call for information about the site or to make an appointment.
                   This contact information will be shown on the site locator available to the general
                  public. Sites designated as "appointment only," must show a number which will be
                  given out to the public. By using the Web tool, this information can be changed
                  instantly should emergencies or people change at any time.

Site List
Submissions       The Web-enabled tool is actually a window into the national database, VMIS. As such,
                  the information reflected in the tool is the current site information provided by
                  volunteers and recorded in the national database. Changes made in the Web tool will
                  update the national database as soon as the “Save” button is hit; or site lists and forms
                  must be returned to the state’s Administrative Specialist for updating in the site
                  database, as soon as possible but no later than November 1.

                  Volunteer should strive to have the site lists updated by this date. After this date,
                  changes can still be submitted or made directly in the Web tool whenever possible. Site
                  data is electronically transmitted to the IRS bi-weekly all year long to enable the IRS to
                  update their database and website.

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 22
                                 Ordering Program Materials
From Whom?        Coordinators and Instructors will need to order administrative (Site and
                  Personnel forms, expense statements, etc.) or publicity (posters, flyers,
                  brochures, etc) materials from the AARP Fulfillment warehouse, the IRS
                  (training materials and tax forms), and from state taxation agencies (if
Administrative/   Thumbnail images of material are included in the Administrative/Instructor
Instructor        packets along with selected samples of materials and are shipped
Packets           automatically in the fall to coordinators listed in the national database.
                  Because the AARP Tax-Aide material requirements will be detailed in these
                  packets, leaders usually do not place orders needed for the tax season or
                  Counselor training with AARP Fulfillment until after receiving this packet.
How To Order      After the packet shipments are delivered, individual items are available for
Materials         ordering. The AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form for materials is
                  available through AARP Tax-Aide. It is available on the volunteer Extranet,
                  is included as a sample in this digest, and a copy will be sent with orders
                  mailed from the AARP warehouse. Additionally, PDF versions of many of
                  the items are posted on the volunteer Extranet to aid volunteers in deciding
                  what to order.

                  Requests for IRS materials should be made using the standard methods and
                  forms developed by the IRS and in use previously.

                  The AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form contains all the AARP Tax-Aide
                  program material that you can order through AARP Tax-Aide. If an item
                  does not exist on the order form, you can not order it from AARP Tax-Aide.
                  The order form has instructions on the back to help explain how to correctly
                  order AARP Tax-Aide material. Additionally, an online version of the form
                  will be posted on the Extranet. This online form still needs to be
                  emailed/faxed/ mailed to the fulfillment department. For 2009-10 and due to
                  funding constraints, shirt orders will be restricted to state level Administrative
                  Specialist only. Please utilize any leftover local stock first.

                  Please use the new form when placing an order as it will minimize errors in
                  fulfilling your requests. For faster processing, orders may also be faxed to
                  Fulfillment at (703) 541-5921 or (703) 541-5922 or e-mailed to
                  fulfillment@aarp.org. Telephone orders or collect calls cannot be accepted.

                  It can take up to 30 days for delivery, so volunteers should submit the order
                  form early enough to allow adequate time for delivery. There is a back order
                  system, so items marked "BO" (Back Ordered) or "DF" (Deferred Shipment)
                  on the packing list which accompanies the material should not be reordered.
Avoid             Materials should not be stockpiled by volunteers – over-ordering drives up
Stockpiling &     printing and shipping costs significantly. Because some shipments are sent by
P.O. Boxes        UPS, P.O. box numbers are not acceptable as addresses. If a street address is
                  not possible, include a phone number so UPS can call to arrange delivery.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 23
Ordering AARP     At the planning meetings in the fall, specific coordinators or Instructors may
Counselor Class   be designated to handle ordering for Counselor classes. Responsibility for
Materials         placing these orders must be clearly designated to avoid duplicate orders.
Ordering          The software ordering process begins in September and continues into
Software for      January. However, before an order can be placed into the IRS system, via
e-filing Sites    your state’s AARP Tax-Aide Technology Specialist, it must have an
                  EFIN, a SIDN, and be noted in the AARP database as an e-file site.
                  Software orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Shipments
                  begin in early December.

                  Please note that the volunteer ordering this software can impact the ease
                  with which the activity reporting system works for the LC and DC.
                  Accurate identification of the SIDN for which the software is ordered is

Ordering IRS      All IRS material for Instructor workshops, Counselor classes, or tax sites
Materials         must be ordered directly through the IRS SPEC office (the IRS staff
                  supporting our and other volunteer programs) per their ordering instructions.
                  As done the last few years, the IRS will email the current year’s Form 2333V
                  directly to volunteers who usually make the materials order. Follow the
                  instructions of the Form 2333V (in PDF format) which will include the date
                  needed and last date accepted. The PDF will save to your computer and you
                  will be prompted to send it as an attachment to the provided IRS email
                  address. You will be sent an acknowledgment email stating your order has
                  been received and receive another email each time a product is shipped by the
                  IRS Distribution Center. Your order will be reviewed and approved by your
                  IRS Relationship Manager. If you order IRS materials through another
                  AARP Tax-Aide volunteer or an IRS SPEC employee, continue your process
                  as you would normally do to receive materials.

                  Allow one month for the IRS to make the delivery. P.O. boxes cannot be
                  used for these shipments from the IRS. Everyone on the list will automatically
                  be shipped a Pub 17 in the same quantity as the number of training manuals
                  requested. The Pub 17 will come separately late in the year or even January.
                  Emergency orders may be telephoned to the IRS SPEC Office.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 24
Counselor         The Counselor Digests, in particular, are needed during the program policy
Digests and       and procedures training portion of Counselor classes. All Counselor Digests,
other Materials   name tags and AARP Tax-Aide shirts for Counselors’ use must now be
                  ordered via the AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form. The SC will
                  determine statewide instructions for ordering these items for both Counselor
                  classes and sites. Consult with your supervising coordinator to determine
                  your state’s procedures before ordering these AARP Tax-Aide materials.

Ordering Site     Local Coordinators should order material for their tax assistance sites by
Materials         early January. Procedures for obtaining state or local tax materials will be
                  provided by the State Coordinator if appropriate. One AARP Tax-Aide
                  poster (D143), with the white space for local information and civil rights
                  language, is required by the IRS grant to be posted at all sites (samples
                  are in the Administrative/Instructor Packet). Before ordering site and
                  publicity materials, please factor in what has already been received from
                  the advance materials shipped by the National Office.

                  The following items, at a minimum, should be ordered (i.e. they are not
                  automatically shipped):
                      1. Site Sign-In Sheet (D18386)
                      2. Volunteer Name Badges (C2358) -- note that this item has changed
                         and now comes in sheets of 6 that can be used in a printer
                      3. Counselor Digest (D16276)
                  Two items are considered required and all AARP Tax-Aide sites must use the
                  following because of legal considerations:
                      4. AARP Tax-Aide Poster (D143) – Displays AARP non-
                         discrimination language required by the IRS grant. The IRS non-
                         discrimination poster should not be used because it references non-
                         discrimination based on age. The grant we have with the IRS is
                         specifically targeted to taxpayers age 60 and over.
                      5. AARP Tax-Aide Tax Record Envelopes (D12225 for English
                         version, D17464 for Spanish version) – Envelopes contain
                         required AARP legal statements regarding data retention and
                         responsibility disclaimers. Because of this, the IRS Tax Record
                         envelopes are not acceptable.
AARP Tax-Aide     The Policy Manual, guides, and digests, with the exception of the Counselor
Manuals,          Digest, will be automatically sent to volunteer leaders based on the positions
Digests and       they are assigned to within the national database. As a result, leaders will not
Guides            need to order these items. Counselor Digests should be ordered via the AARP
                  Tax-Aide Program Order Form. In addition, all these items will be posted on
                  the volunteer Extranet. New in 2009: Some of these items are being posted
                  exclusively to the Extranet and are not being printed.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 25
                                    Expense Reimbursement
Expense          This program is run on the good will of volunteers. Specifically concerning
Constraints      budget and cost containment, we are fortunate that many volunteers seek no
                 reimbursement at all or continue taking the flat rate payment. The increases in
                 the mileage rate over the last several years is taking its toll on our ability to
                 replace equipment and grow as fast as we would like to. Please review the Site
                 Management , Selection & Schedules section of this Digest for direction to help
                 minimize cost through effective site selection and volunteer assignment.
Period of        Tax assistance expenses are only reimbursable for training activity conducted
Eligibility      after October 1 and tax assistance activity conducted during the standard 1040-
                 filing season through April 20.

Non-             Expenses for state/local tax assistance cannot be reimbursed when no federal tax
Reimbursable     assistance is intended to be provided. Meals and refreshments are not
Expenses         reimbursable for any volunteer (i.e. Counselors, coordinators, and Instructors)
                 during Counselor classes and when assisting at regularly scheduled sites, except
                 in rare cases when the SC authorizes overnight stays. The SC must also provide
                 his/her approval signature on the expense statement.

Reimburse-       Counselors, Client Facilitators (CF), Shift Coordinators (SCO) and Electronic
ment Options     Return Originators (EROs) elect a flat rate stipend of $35, OR itemize their
                 expenses related to their travel costs. Volunteers in these positions may waive
                 reimbursement, or may choose to be reimbursed. If they choose to be reimbursed,
                 they can only select ONE of these reimbursement options for the entire season.
                 Either reimbursement option covers expenses incurred during the training period
                 and the tax assistance season as outlined in the “Period of Eligibility” above.

Direct Deposit   The option of direct deposit of reimbursements is available to all volunteers.
of Reimburse-    Direct Deposit is beneficial as volunteers do not need to wait for the checks to be
ments            mailed to them and it minimizes the chances of checks being lost or misplaced.

                 Volunteers who wish to take this option should submit their direct deposit form
                 prior to submission of their reimbursement request in order to enable the financial
                 department at the National Office sufficient time to set up their direct deposit
                 instructions in the accounting system. Although direct deposits can be
                 established at any point in the year, it is recommended that volunteers who wish
                 to establish direct deposit for their reimbursement request do so prior to the
                 beginning of March. Volunteer who have already set up direct deposits with
                 AARP do not need to resubmit their request unless their bank account number has
                 changed, or they wish to receive an email notification of the deposit and had not
                 previously set this up (an email section appears on the direct deposit form).

                 To establish direct deposit of volunteer reimbursements, volunteers can go to the
                 Extranet (listed on the cover of this manual), or use the form at the back of this
                 manual. Please follow the instructions carefully, and please print clearly.

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 26
Required          Without exception, all SCO, COU, CF, and ERO expense claims require the
Approval          approval signature of the supervisor. This signature must appear on a Flat-Rate
Signature         Reimbursement Form or an individual expense statement. Expense claims
                  without this approval cannot and will not be processed.

Submission        In some cases, volunteers may not be able to wait until May to be reimbursed for
Period for        training expenses if they incurred lodging expenses. A State Coordinator may
“counseling”      authorize preliminary reimbursement for these expenditures and must sign the
Expenses          expense claim prior to it being submitted to the National Office for processing. In
                  these instances, “Preliminary” should be written on the top of the Expense
                  Statement when it is submitted. This will alert the National Office staff that the
                  expense statement is not a final request and needs special handling.
Flat-Rate Or No Reimbursement
Using             Only SCO, COU, EROs and CFs who elect Flat-Rate reimbursement should sign
Counselor Flat-   a Counselor Flat-Rate Reimbursement Form (CFR) at the end of the tax season.
Rate              Flat-Rate Reimbursement is a one-time reimbursement option covering all
                  expenses incurred, including training, tax assistance, and supplies for the year.
ment Forms
                  No names may be added to the CFR, but address corrections are permitted.
                  CFRs are sent to Local Coordinators at the completion of the process of updating
                  the volunteer roster (see Volunteer Roster & Record Keeping section of this

Flat-Rate w/o     Any Counselors, EROs , SCO, and CFs who seek Counselor Flat-Rate, but cannot
Forms             use the flat rate form, must submit their claim on an expense statement.

No Reimburse-     Some Counselors, EROs, or Client Facilitators do not which to receive
ments             reimbursement. In these cases, no action is necessary.

Itemized Reimbursement
Advance           All itemized tax assistance expenses, regardless of the volunteer’s position within the
Approval          program, require advance approval as well as the after-the-fact approval signatures of
Requirements      the immediate supervisor and the State Coordinator or designee. A State Coordinator
                  will establish a dollar threshold under which state-level advance approval and
                  concurrence signatures are waived.

Expense Form      Counselors who wish to itemize expenses will receive a blank expense form from their
Use               supervisor at the end of the tax season or from the Extranet. Detailed records of all
                  claimed expenses must be provided, along with appropriate supporting receipts (that
                  clearly support the amount of reimbursement being requested is required for leader
                  expenses other than mileage). Expense statements that do not provide sufficient detail
                  and/or receipts that do not support the amount being requested will not be processed by
                  the National Office and will be returned.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 27
Meal and          Meals and refreshments are not reimbursable for any volunteer (i.e. Counselors,
Refreshment       coordinators, and Instructors) during Counselor classes and when assisting at regularly
Expenses Not      scheduled sites, except in rare cases when the SC authorizes overnight stays. In these
Reimbursed        rare cases, the SC must also sign the expense statement. See section on Miscellaneous
                  expenses for direction on coverage of “coffee and donut” expenses.

Reimbursable      Coordinators (other than Shift Coordinators), but not Counselors, EROs, or CFs, may
Administrative,   incur reimbursable administrative, training, and publicity expenses, including:
Training, &         Travel        Copying charges (administrative only, not tax returns)
Publicity           Lodging       Meals (except as explained above)
                    Postage       Nominal training facilities charges (only with SC approval)
                    Supplies      Telephone charges

Mileage Claims    Mileage claims must be documented by listing each date of travel; the location(s) and
                  the roundtrip mileage. The location and roundtrip mileage is needed only once for
                  repeated trips to and from the same location (if the paper version of the form is used),
                  but the individual dates must be listed. If the excel version of the form is used
                  (available on the volunteer Extranet), each date must be listed separately in order to
                  correctly calculate the amount to be reimbursed. Be sure to include the total mileage
                  also in these cases. Expense statements without individual dates can not be processed.
                  Mileage expense forms that are not filled out correctly will be denied and returned;
                  therefore it is important to fill out the expense form with the necessary amount of detail
                  and specificity.

                  EXAMPLE of correctly recorded mileage using the mileage rate effective 1/1/09 (you
                  would naturally need to use the mileage rate in effect at the time of actual travel):
                  Activity                  Activity & Location                   Transportation Cost
                  Code           Date       (including miles driven)
                  I              2/5        Anytown Library, 10 miles
                                            round trip
                                            1 x 10 = 10 miles (@ $.55 )                   $5.50
                  I              Multiple Anytown High school, 8 miles
                                            round trip
                                            (Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar 5, 12,               $44.00
                                            15, 19, April 2, 9)
                                            8 x 10 = 80 miles (@ $.55)
                                            Total cost                                   $49.50

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 28
                 EXAMPLE of incorrectly recorded mileage (using 01/01/2009 mileage rate):
                  Activity          Activity & Location             Transportation Cost
                  Code     Date     (including miles driven)
                  I        Multiple Anytown (Feb, March, April)
                                    Total of 90 miles round trip
                                    (@ $.55)                               $49.50
                                    Total cost                             $49.50

                 Note Regarding the Mileage Rate to be used: As of the printing of this manual (October
                 2009), the mileage rate in effect for the AARP Tax-Aide program is $0.550/mile. This
                 mileage rate may be revised at the beginning of the calendar year for 2010. We will
                 advise volunteers via Cybertax if and when the rate is changed as well as the effective
                 date of the change. In addition, the official rate to be used by the program will be posted
                 on our Extranet www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

NEW in 2010      Previously, non-leaders only used expense code “I” for all training and certification as
Expense code T   well as tax assistance transportation. NEW in 2010, all volunteers must use expense
                 code “T” for transportation for training for certification. The expense code T is now to
                 be used by all volunteers traveling to and from local training. This includes leaders and
                 non-leaders and for tax training/certification, ERO, CF and/or site policy training
                 starting October 1 or later. Expense code “I” will still be used for transportation related
                 to tax assistance or client facilitation.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 29
Other          To ensure that the program efficiently uses its limited financial resources, as well as to
Non-           comply with AARP or IRS policies, the following expenses are not reimbursable:
Reimbursable   1. Mileage for a single shut-in visit that exceeds the reimbursable maximum of 30
Expenses           miles per roundtrip. In these instances, the first 30 miles is reimbursable, anything
                   over that will not be reimbursed.
               2. Mileage for shut-in visits for taxpayers under age 60, or who do not receive federal
                   tax filing assistance, are not reimbursable by the grant.
               3. Instructor workshop expenses for any attendees exceeding the reimbursable
                   maximum of two per Counselor class plus all new instructors.
               4. Counselors’ e-file training expenses beyond reasonable local travel costs.
               5. Payment of any type for tax assistance sites.
               6. Any automobile expenses other than mileage, parking or tolls reimbursement.
               7. Personal expenses: alcoholic beverages, entertainment, flowers, greeting cards,
                   personal long distance phone calls.
               8. All spousal expenses.
               9. Postage for mailing IRS Form 9325 (e-filing acknowledgement) to clients.
               All necessary program supplies/services are provided to SCO, COU, ERO and CF
               volunteers by the National Office and/or volunteer leadership in your state. As a result,
               the following are not reimbursable:
               1. Books, reference materials, training or training materials.
               2. Secretarial services or post office box rental.
               3. Any permanent equipment such as: briefcases, calculators, copiers, file cabinets,
                   pencil sharpeners, staplers, staple removers, computer, printers and software.
               4. Rental of overhead projectors, telephone equipment and installation.
               5. Equipment maintenance, repair or supplies, including for computers and printers
                   (consult with supervisor for exceptions), projectors (except bulb), VCR's, etc.
               6. Paid publicity.
               7. Personalized stationery or business cards.
               8. Envelopes, labels, or postage for mailing taxpayer payments to the IRS or state.

                                      LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 30
Miscellaneous    1. When mileage is excessive and air travel is approved by the SC, mileage, parking,
Expense              additional motel and meal expenses, as a result of travel by car, are reimbursable
Clarifications       only to the extent that they do not exceed the cost of quoted airfare plus
                     transportation to and from the airport. In such instances a copy of the airfare quote
                     should be submitted as supporting documentation.
                 2. Consistent use of isolated locations is discouraged due to the costs involved.
                     Isolated locations are defined as locations that require the majority of the Counselors
                     working at the site to travel in excess of 30 miles roundtrip to provide services at the
                     designated site. Options available to minimize these costs include:
                     a.    Scheduling coverage of the site using teams that are present several times
                           during the season rather than every week.
                     b.    Aligning volunteers and sites more closely (either through finding sites
                           closer to the pool of volunteers or recruiting volunteers that live closer to
                           the population of taxpayers being served.)
                     c.    Exploring the possibility of persons being brought to closer sites using
                           senior vans, carpools, etc.
                 3. End-of-season functions for recognition of Counselors should be confined to pot-
                     luck, coffee and donuts, or other nominal expenditure affairs. In such instances,
                     when the expense statements are submitted for processing, the number of people
                     attending the function must be recorded. Expenses statements that do not include
                     this information will not be processed. Lunches, buffets, and other expensive
                     gatherings cannot be reimbursed. Mileage to/from these functions is also not
                 4. “Coffee and donuts” expenses are confined to Counselor-attended trainings. In such
                     examples, the maximum amount of reimbursement is $1.50 per person for the
                     entire training period. This reimbursement is available for SC, DC, or Instructors
                     only. Receipts are required and the number of Counselors in attendance must be
                     noted on the receipts.
                 5. Expenses of maintaining, repairing and supplying consumables (like ink cartridges)
                     for computers and printers for e-filing may require supervisor, SC and/or TCS
                     approval. Ask first! These items are often purchased nationally and may already be
                 6. The AARP Foundation qualifies to receive state sales tax exemptions in 23 states.
                     The exempt certificates and additional instruction is available on the volunteer
                     Extranet under “Forms”. In addition, the Sr. Field Support Technician assigned to
                     your area can provide these documents to those volunteers not having access to the
                 7. Booths or exhibits at senior fairs should be combined with other AARP or
                     Foundation activities or limited to nominal expenses not to exceed $25.00.
                 8. Administrative copies produced on personally-owned equipment may be charged at
                     a cost not to exceed 5¢ per copy or the cost of the paper.
                 9. Current mileage rate is $0.550 per mile. This rate is reviewed annually and is
                     subject to change. The current mileage rate will be posted on the volunteer Extranet
                     and notice of change will be emailed via Cybertax.
                 10. Current flat rate for Counselors is $35.00 per season.
                 11. Current flat rate for Coordinators, Instructors, & Specialists is $50.00 per season.

                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 31
E-Filing           In an effort to increase the visibility into the costs for e-filing, this cost
Expenses           category has been broken out as follows.
                   1) An activity code of “S” has been assigned for e-file expenses related to:
                           a. Purchasing expendables like paper and printer cartridges
                           b. Purchasing computers or printers with Donated Funds by SC
                               special authorization
                   2) Questions regarding computer repairs should be direct to your TC or

                   These expenses incurred directly must be reported using AARP Tax-Aide’s
                   standard Expense Statement (E234). Since Shift Coordinators, Counselors,
                   Client Facilitators, and EROs can only claim the flat rate or itemized “I”
                   and “T” coded expenses, coordinators (other than Shift Coordinators),
                   Instructors, or Specialists should purchase and be reimbursed for the e-file
                   expenses for their site(s). The Local Coordinators and Technology
                   Coordinators are expected to support their e-file Counselors in this area.

                   Expense statements should NOT be submitted for consumables obtained via
                   the National Consumables Contract through a National Vendor. These
                   expenses are paid directly by the National Office to the vendor. The full list of
                   covered consumables is on the Extranet, but includes common items such as:
                   Toner Cartridges for: HP 1022, HP 1012, HP 1160/1320, HP 2015, HP P1505
                   Brother HL 1440, Lexmark E320/E322, Lexmark E312/E312L/E310, and
                   Projector bulbs/lamps for: Epson S3, Epson S4, Epson S5, Epson S6, Epson
                   750c, Epson 1700c.

Top Things that
Cause a Delay in
Processing an

                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 32
Top Things that
Cause a Delay in   1. Header information missing or not clear
Processing an              a. Volunteer ID number, state/split, position code
Expense            2. Volunteer is not listed in the national database (VMIS), or they have no
Statement              active assignments in VMIS. A volunteer must have an active
(continued)            assignment in VMIS to receive reimbursement.
                   3. Address listed is different from the address in VMIS. The √ helps with
                       seasonal addresses, but does not help if the address listed is completely
                       different from any listed in VMIS.
                   4. Mileage detail. Exact dates, number of miles, number of trips, and
                       current rate used. Remember that the mileage rate is reviewed and re-
                       evaluated each year and is subject to change. The correct mileage rate
                       will be posted on the AARP Tax-Aide Volunteer Extranet at
                   5. Wrong activity codes. Each and every activity for which a volunteer is
                       requesting reimbursement must have an identified activity code (shown
                       in the “Grouped Activity Codes” section in the illustration above).
                   6. Requesting flat rate when itemized statement already submitted.
                       Remember that a volunteer can only get one type of reimbursement for
                       the year – either a single flat rate OR itemized reimbursement. They
                       cannot get both.
                   7. Requesting itemized reimbursement when a CFR signed or flat rate
                       statement was already submitted.
                   8. Requesting flat rate and itemized on same statement.
                   9. Missing signatures and/or supervisor ID number.
                   10. Using wrong titles/codes for assigned positions. Note that volunteers
                       should use their highest position when requesting reimbursement.
                       Position levels are shown by numbers in front of titles on both the
                       paper and Excel versions of the expense statements (current version of
                       the expense statement only).Volunteers who hold more than one title
                       should select the title corresponding to the highest numeric level
                       assigned on the form.
                   11. Extraordinary expenses requiring explanation, justification and/or
                       approval by SC or TCS.
                   12. Lack of documentation or receipts that clearly support the amount of
                       reimbursement being requested. New effective immediately: Accounts
                       Payable will no longer be able to process receipts over $75 that are
                       stapled to an expense statement. The approved method is that
                       ORIGINAL receipts over $75 are taped to a separate 8.5 x 11 inch
                       piece of paper. Please be sure that the receipts are securely taped (all
                       four sides/no loose edges). ORIGINAL Receipts under $75 must also
                       accompany expense statements, but do not need to be taped to a
                       separate 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper.
                   13. Submitting multiple requests for the same expenses if not asked by
                       National Office staff to do so.

                                    LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 33
Coordinator, Instructor, Specialist Expenses
Leadership     Leaders seeking reimbursement may elect to take the Leadership Flat-Rate
Reimburse-     Reimbursement or they may itemize expenses for the year. In either case, expense
ment Options   statements should be completed and submitted to the supervising volunteer.
               Instructions for completing the expense statements are found on the back of the
               form, and include the necessary approval procedures. Forms are included in the
               Packets and are posted on the Extranet at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.
               Leaders are asked to submit their expenses on a timely basis in order to enable a
               clearer picture of the program costs throughout the year. Ideally, expenses should be
               submitted in:
                1. January (for activities held from October through December),
                2. During the regular expense submission process from April 16 through June 30
                   (for any expense they incur from January until June), and
                3. September (for any remaining costs associated with the program).

Leadership     Leadership Flat-Rate Reimbursement is a one-time reimbursement option covering
Flat-Rate      all expenses incurred, including coordinating, training, tax assistance, and supplies
Reimburse-     for the year. Leaders who choose this option must submit an expense statement
ment           noting the year, "Leadership Flat Rate," the amount, and activity code "C." Leaders
               who elect the flat-rate reimbursement should not submit any other requests for
               reimbursement for that year. Flat-rate expense statements must be submitted
               between April 15 and June 30.

Leadership     The Leadership Itemized Expense Reimbursement option also covers all aspects of
Itemized       AARP Tax-Aide work but requires detailed reporting of activities and submission of
Expense        receipts for all expenses except mileage. Leaders who choose this option will
Reimburse-     submit their expenses on an expense statement. Itemized tax assistance expenses are
ment           charged to activity code "I" and may only be submitted after April 15.

               Expenses related to other activities should be submitted close to the time in which
               they incurred the expense. These expenses must be supported by itemized receipts
               that clearly identify the amount incurred and for which they are asking for

                                      LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 34
Submitting     Leaders should submit itemized expense statements monthly or quarterly to enable a
Leadership     more accurate picture of the costs for the program throughout the year. However, at
Expenses for   the most basic, all expenses must be submitted by September 30 (if not done so
Reimburse-     earlier) because this is the end of the fiscal year for the program.
ment for
               The Excel version of the expense statement is preferred, but otherwise when
               submitting expenses, they should sign the four copies of the form, retain one copy
               (plus one copy of receipts), affix their own labels to the remaining three copies and
               send them (with one copy of receipts attached on top) to their supervising
               coordinator for approval. The supervisor will retain one copy of the expense form
               and forward the remaining two copies (along with the supporting receipts) to the
               National Office for processing. Regardless of activity performed, each volunteer
               has only one supervising coordinator.

Expense Approval Procedures
Review         Supervising coordinators review expense statements and Counselor Flat Rate forms
Authority      for accuracy and appropriateness, and ensure that all appropriate receipts are
               attached and that the receipts support the amount being requested. New effective
               immediately: Accounts Payable will no longer be able to process receipts over $75
               that are stapled to an expense statement. The approved method is that ORIGINAL
               receipts over $75 are taped to a separate 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper. Please be sure
               that the receipts are securely taped (all four sides/no loose edges). ORIGINAL
               Receipts under $75 must also accompany expense statements, but do not need to be
               taped to a separate 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper. If all is satisfactory, the supervising
               coordinators sign, add their own ID number as authorization for payment, and retain
               a copy. Any expense statements not signed by the supervising coordinator of record
               as shown on the roster will be returned by the National Office.

Designated     Supervising coordinators who will be unavailable for approvals should designate
Alternate      alternates to sign for them. The alternate writes in the name and ID number of the
Reviewers      supervisor of record, and signs his/her own name and ID number underneath. The
               alternate should retain one copy to send to the supervisor of record.

Temporary &    If the reimbursement check is to be mailed to a temporary or seasonal residence,
Seasonal       include the address in the upper left corner of the statement for verification. Write
Addresses      the name and temporary address in the name/address field, checking the "mail check
               to" box above the field. National Office records must reflect the volunteer's address
               during tax season. This temporary address must be listed in the national database,

                                       LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 35
Counselor      The supervising coordinator should submit all expense statements for SCO, COU,
Expense        ERO, and CFs in a batch to the National Office. The batch should contain:
Statement      1. The CFR form with the signature of each volunteer who is electing the flat rate
Submission        reimbursement associated with their position, and
               2. Expense statements, with appropriate supporting documentation and receipts (if
                  electing to receive itemized reimbursement), with the signature of the volunteer
                  and the approval signature of that volunteer’s supervisor.

               The batch should be submitted using the 9x12 business reply envelope (B778) and
               should be submitted as soon as it is available towards the end of the tax filing
               season, but no later than June 30.

Advances For   Under special circumstances, when a leader or a Counselor’s training expenses
Anticipated    cannot wait to be reimbursed, an advance may be authorized at the State
Expenses       Coordinator's request. In some cases, Counselors may not be able to wait until May
               to be reimbursed for counselor training expenses when lodging is involved. A State
               Coordinator may authorize and must approve preliminary reimbursement for these
               expenditures. "Preliminary" should be written on the top of the Expense

                                      LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 36
                                          Insurance Coverage

Accident Insurance

Who Is Covered      The Foundation provides travel accident insurance coverage for AARP Tax-Aide
                    volunteer for accidental death and dismemberment and medical expenses for any
                    injury incurred while conducting AARP Foundation business directly related to the
                    volunteer position. The travel insurance provided for the AARP Tax-Aide program
                    is part of the total business insurance for all of AARP and the AARP Foundation.

Amount of           Accidental death and dismemberment benefit of $25,000, and a medical expense
Coverage            benefit of up to $3,000 for any injury incurred while conducting authorized
                    program business directly related to the volunteer position.

Supplemental        The medical expense benefit is coordinated with Medicare Part A and Part B or an
Nature of           assumed equivalent insurance coverage, regardless of the insured's age. This is a
Coverage            supplement and should not be viewed as a volunteer's primary insurance.

If An Accident      If any AARP Tax-Aide volunteer sustains an accidental injury while conducting
Occurs              AARP Tax-Aide business, they should notify the AARP travel accident insurance
                    staff through their supervisor and AARP Tax-Aide State Coordinator. A new
                    (optional) form has been developed and it posted on the volunteer extranet that may
                    help in collecting the necessary information on an incident.

                    Notification, preferably via email, should be sent to:
                           AARP Insurance and Risk Management Office
                           Attn: Albert Fierro
                           601 E Street, NW
                           Washington, DC 20049
                           Email: afierro@aarp.org; Phone: (202) 434-3245

Liability Protection
Protection By      The Introduction and Administrative Guidelines of the IRS Volunteer Assistor’s
Virtue of TCE      Guide states that volunteers are not legally liable under federal law for the returns
Funding            that they prepare.
Volunteer          The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 (S.543) provides that certified volunteers are
Liability Act of   not liable for harm caused by an act or omission if they are acting within the scope
1997               of their responsibilities and the harm was not willful.
Certificate of     The certificate of insurance for site liability outlines that the AARP Foundation will
Insurance for      hold harmless the site in accordance with the insurance coverage provided by
Site Liability     AARP. Requesting this certificate is optional. If a certificate is needed for a site,
                   contact your District Coordinator or utilize the “Request for Certificate of Insurance”
                   on the “Other Information” tab of the Site Information Management Web tool.

                                           LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 37
Administrative Reports Summary
          TITLE            PREPARER                LC ACTION REQUIRED                      ACTION
 Site Lists                Administration Update information; submit to supervisor November
                           Specialist or   for statewide compilation and updating of (possibly
                           National Office the national database, or based on your     earlier for e-
                                           state management direction, access the      filing sites)
                                           Web-enabled tool for Site Information to
                                           submit changes/verify updates directly.
 Instructor’s Report       Lead instructor Assess the delivery & effectiveness of tax 10 days after
                                           training, and forward to Training           training
 Training Evaluations      Counselors,     Assess the delivery & effectiveness of tax After training
                           Training        training, ultimately reporting to the State
                           Specialists     Coordinator.
 Activity Reports          A joint effort  Collection of individual Site Sign-In       Monthly
                           between the     Sheets which are tallied and input, at      reporting
                           LC, DC,         least monthly during the tax season, into periods end the
                           Administration the Web system available over the            last day of the
                           Specialist and  Internet.                                   month. Due
                           National Office                                             dates are five
                                                                                       days later.
 All Volunteer Roster      Administration Update information; submit to supervisor February
                           Specialist or   for statewide compilation and updating of
                           National Office the national database.
 All Volunteer             Administration Administration Specialist verifies,          March
 Verification Roster       Specialist or   DC/LCs retain.
                           National Office
 Counselor Flat-Rate       National Office Counselors sign and Coordinators            April 15
 Reimbursement Form                        countersign and mail to National Office.
 Volunteer Assessment of   Optional for    Assess the overall operation of AARP        As stated on
 Program                   Counselors &    Tax-Aide for the season, ultimately         assessment
                           Instructors,    reporting via Happenings back to all        form.
                           required for    volunteers.

                                     LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 38
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                                   Site Sign-In Sheet Instructions
The Site Sign-In Sheet should be used to record the services provided to tax-payers. This information, in
association with information from other sources will provide a complete picture of all services to tax-payers.

                                         How to Fill Out the Form
  1. Clearly list the site SIDN and the date(s) covered by the activity.
  2. Fill in one line for each interview or assistance effort.
  3. Enter the client’s name each time an interview or assistance was provided to a taxpayer.
  4. Before calling the next client, counselors should record any and all tax assistance they provided to the
     previous client as follows:
          i. The Type of Service provided each taxpayer (household). Check (√ ) all applicable boxes
             (1-5) to indicate type of service(s) provided.
  5. The counselor providing assistance and the quality reviewer should initial column 6 & 7 respectively.
  6. If there is any additional information needed, such as the taxpayer needs to return with additional forms,
     or any other local notes, these can be listed in column 8.
                                 Definition of the 6 Pieces of Information
The intent of collecting statistics is to get an overall count of the total number of taxpayers served by the
program. As a result, the following pieces of information are being asked for:
  Federal Return (Current Year): This includes any federal returns that were completed, and are ready to be
  submitted either by paper or e-file, for the current tax year.
  Federal Return (Prior Year): This includes any federal returns that were completed for years other than the
  current tax year.
  Federal Return (Amended): This includes any federal returns that were amended for any tax year.
  State/Local Only Return: This includes any state/local return that was completed where a federal return
  was not also completed. This should be a single count even if both state and local returns were completed
  and includes returns submitted either by paper or e-file.
  Question & Answer Only: This includes any services where a taxpayer asked questions about their taxes or
  tax filing where neither a federal nor state return was completed. If a state and/or federal return was
  completed, and additional questions were asked and answered, it would not be considered “Q&A Only”.
  All Quality Review 2nd Counselor’s Initials: A second counselor on-site quality review on any return is
  required. This QR is counted as a single QR regardless of how many returns the counselor has
  completed for the taxpayer.

                         How to Submit Total Activity for Reporting Purposes
  1. Completed Sign-in Sheets are collected and submitted as instructed by the supervising coordinator.
  2. The Local Coordinator or his/her designee will review the sheets for accuracy and total all columns –
     counting “1” for each √, summing columns 1-5, and counting the number of initials in column 6.
  3. The Totals information is compiled and reported via the AARP Web Extranet link
     www.aarp.org/tavolunteers/ as directed and specified by the State Management Team for the entire tax
     season. The reporting period submission dates into this website are posted on the AARP Web Extranet at
  4. Any omissions in a reporting period (i.e. if information was missing for a site/district), should be reported
     in the following reporting period and should be communicated up the chain of command in your area).
                                          Review and Adjustment
  1. The ADS for your state will review the submissions and make any necessary adjustments and/or
     corrections within 10 days of the following the website submission.
  2. A fourth reporting period, covering services provided from April 27th – August 31st, should be
     coordinated between the SC and ADS for the split state and submitted to the National Office in early
For more information, contact your supervisor or visit the AARP Web Extranet site at

                                       LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 43
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Please complete and mail to: Training Specialist

I am willing to serve as an AARP Tax-Aide Instructor. For training purposes, I am submitting the following information:

NAME _____________________________________________ I.D. #(if known) __________________________


CITY, STATE, ZIP ____________________________________________________________________________

TELEPHONE NUMBER _________________________                      E-MAIL:___________________________________


l. How many years have you served as an AARP Tax-Aide Counselor? ______________

2. How many years have you served as an AARP Tax-Aide Instructor? ______________

3. Have you ever worked for the IRS? YES ________ NO _________

  If you have, in what position(s) and for how long?


4. What type(s) of work have you been involved in and for how long? (e.g. - teacher 15 yrs; accountant-10 yrs).


5. Please describe briefly* your experience in making oral presentations. (e.g. - teaching, speeches, seminars, sales presentations).


6. Please describe briefly* your experience in tax work, (e.g. - return preparation, accounting, education course).



7. Are you willing to teach outside your immediate area?                 YES ___________ NO __________

8. Can you attend a 3 to 5 day Instructor Workshop in December?         YES ___________       NO __________

                                                                    Signature                  Date

* Use back of form if necessary.

                                                  LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 50
                                            AARP Tax-Aide Program Instructor’s Report
  TO: TRS and Local Coordinators   Course Location_____________________                      Dates ______________________________

                                                                                            STAR    SCORE      SCORE        SCORE
LAST NAME         FIRST NAME                 ADDRESS                      ZIP       PHONE   YEAR    PART 1     PART 2       PART 3

                                                                                                        Lead Instructor’s Signature

                                                         LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 51
       AARP Tax-Aide Counselor Performance Review Form - Optional

Performance Review of (name): ____________________________________ ID#_______________________

GENERAL                                                                           Date_______________________

1. Rate this volunteer's performance (as excellent; good; fair; poor) with regard to:

  a. Interviewing techniques                                              __________________________________

  b. Clarity and neatness of writing                                      __________________________________

  c. Accuracy in preparing tax returns                                    __________________________________

2. Has this volunteer:

  a. Been properly certified in accordance with the                       __________________________________
     procedures specified in the Handbook?

  b. Worked at the assigned site as scheduled?                            _________________________________

  c. Maintained the confidentiality of taxpayers and all                  __________________________________
     tax-return information?

  d. Made productive use of assigned working hours?                       __________________________________

3. Did this volunteer:

  a. Record assistance given according to instruction?                    __________________________________

  b. Avoid conflict of interest situations and any appearance of remuneration for services? __________________

  c. Promote and support the AARP Tax-Aide program through word of mouth, site publicity or other means? ________

  d. Properly prepare and submit an expense statement at the end of the tax season?       ___________________


Should this volunteer be invited to prepare taxes next year? Yes_____ No _____
Does this volunteer have leadership potential?               Yes_____ No _____
If Yes, in what capacity?            _______________________________________

COMMENTS: (Use back of the form if necessary)

Supervising Coordinator signature ________________________________ ID#_____________________

Supervising Coordinator Retains.

                                                  LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 52
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     LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 53
                     Volunteer Assessment of AARP Tax-Aide Program
     You are invited to participate in the assessment of the season and help shape the improvements for next season. Your
     personal experience is invaluable -- please share it.

     The two-part assessment form follows. Please fill out each part and give this form to your supervisor by the date in
     the box below. Your supervisor will consider your views when submitting his/her own assessment. Regional
     Coordinators’ summaries go to the AARP Tax-Aide national office for national compilation and reporting back to all
     program coordinators via Happenings.
      From:                                                                                                                      Please get this
      (your name)_____________________________________________________________________
                                                                                                If your supervisor is a:         evaluation to
                                                                                                                                 him/her by:
      (your title & state)________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                Local Coordinator                April 1
      To:                                                                                       District Coordinator             April 15
      (supervisor name)________________________________________________________________         State Coordinator                May 1
      (supervisor title)_________________________________________________________________       Regional Coordinator             May 15
                                                                                                Staff Person                     May 31

     Part 1 Circle appropriate rating numbers
     All volunteers should rate statements 1 - 14 below.
     5=completely agree         4=somewhat agree          3=neutral      2=somewhat disagree              1=completely disagree.
                                                                                     Disagree                                  Agree

 1    Program goals are clearly stated.                                1      2      3      4                                   5
 2    The program is well publicized.                                  1      2      3      4                                   5
 3    Volunteers are well trained.                                     1      2      3      4                                   5
 4    Testing & certification are consistent & fair.                   1      2      3      4                                   5
 5    IRS provides adequate support.                                   1      2      3      4                                   5
 6    Information is communicated as & when needed.                    1      2      3      4                                   5
 7    Materials, forms & supplies are sufficient.                      1      2      3      4                                   5
 8    Necessary equipment is available.                                1      2      3      4                                   5
 9    Tax Assistance sites are well managed.                           1      2      3      4                                   5
10    Tax Assistance sites have enough counselors.                     1      2      3      4                                   5
11    All tax returns are quality reviewed.                            1      2      3      4                                   5
12    Reports are submitted accurately & timely.                       1      2      3      4                                   5
13    Sites are monitored & helped as needed.                          1      2      3      4                                   5
14    Supervisors recognize volunteers’ service.                       1      2      3      4                                   5
                      Counselors should proceed now to Part II on the reverse side of this page;
                     all others should rate statements 15 - 21 below before proceeding to Part II.
                                                                                     Disagree                                  Agree

15    Statistical reports (activities & costs) are received timely.                     1          2          3            4    5
16    Program advisory committees give needed support.                                  1          2          3            4    5
17    Activity Reporting is easy to understand and complete.                            1          2          3            4    5
18    The program’s organizational charts are helpful.                                  1          2          3            4    5
19    Our organizational structure makes sense.                                         1          2          3            4    5
20    Recruiting resources provide adequate assistance.                                 1          2          3            4    5
21    The program reaches as many communities as need it..                              1          2          3            4    5

                                                        LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 54
Part II (to be completed by all volunteers)
1. What worked well? (describe innovations, successes, goals that were attained)

2. What did not work well? (describe problems that you need help in solving, goals that were not

3. What new group of taxpayers did you serve?

4. What support do you need? (e.g., training in _______________, communication, publicity,
   supplies, equipment, etc.)

5. Specific ideas for program improvement: (e.g., how to reach more customers, bring in more
   volunteers, improve training)

6. Other: (let off steam or brag about someone or something)

7. Specific actions I will take to improve AARP Tax-Aide service in my territory or
   area of responsibility:

8. Counselors only: If a leadership position -- coordinator, instructor, or both-- were
   available, would you be interested in serving?
      Yes _____ ___Coordinator                                      No_____

                               Thank you for your contribution!

                                      LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 55
                                  Example of an AARP Tax-Aide Site Flow
Often volunteer leaders ask for examples of “best practices.” Below is an example of a site flow that might
be appropriate for a site with a Client Facilitator, a separate/designated Quality Reviewer, and a non-network
e-filing environment. Many of our rural sites don’t have the possibility or need for three of more volunteers,
and some of our larger or longer-term e-filing sites have adopted networked environments. Even in these
understandably different site configurations, perhaps some of the steps below might still be helpful.

                        Step One – Getting Ready for Assistance (by a Client Facilitator)
   Register the taxpayer (TP) on the site sign-in sheet.
   Give the TP the IRS Intake Form to complete.
   If slow, help arrange TP documents in entry order and initially screen for any obvious concerns like
    missing income forms. Get assistance from a Counselor, as needed, to try to avoid a TP unnecessarily
    waiting if we would be unable to assist them for some reason.
   Send TP and documents, in appropriate order, to a Counselor.
                        Step Two – Entry of Information (by a certified e-file Counselor)
   Review Intake From with TP paying particular attention to complicated living arrangements and Head of
    Household tax status, that noted income on Intake form match W-2s, 1099’s and other income forms,
   Enter the SSN – if prior-year data for this TP was restored to the prior-year version of TaxWise™, the
    software will offer to carry it forward. Say YES.
   Enter all appropriate data into computer
   If using carry-forward data, double check that there are no “leftover” forms in the Forms Tree, such as a
    W-2 from an employer for whom the TP no longer works or a duplicate Interest statement, which can
    happen when the tree is defaulted so that this statement is listed and prior-year data showing interest is
    carried forward
   Run diagnostics and make any necessary corrections
   Review the return on screen with the TP
   Hand off TP, and documents to quality reviewer
                        Step Three - Quality Review (by an experienced e-file Counselor)
   Review TP’s IRS Intake form.
   Review return, and make any corrections (pay close attention to any direct deposit entry.).
   If any changes run diagnostic again, if substantive changes also review with the TP.
   Create e-file
                                           Step Four – Wrapping Up the Return
   Print the return including Forms– 8879 for TP(s) signature
   Attach W-2s, 1099-Rs, and any other documents containing Federal Income Tax withheld to a signed
    copy of Form 8879 and retain in secure place until you give to the individual at your site responsible for
    forwarding the forms to the local IRS for retention..
   Provide TP(s) with a full copy of the return(s) in a AARP Tax Record Envelope (Stock #D12225)
   Thanks the TP and remind him or her to bring the Tax Record Envelope to the site next year. Instruct
    the TP when/how to make payment(s) if tax is owed. (Some sites make good use of the Client letter, a
    capability in TaxWise™, to provide all follow-up instructions.)

                                          LC Digest, 2009-2010, Page 56
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