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									 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


                                                      October 1, 2008-September 30, 2009




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

            Over Two Million People Served
            Annually!
                                        Why Read This Digest?
Dear Local Coordinator:

First and foremost, thanks for agreeing to be a Local Coordinator in 2009! This program can only exist to
help others if volunteers, like you, agree to help manage activity. You are vital to the success of AARP Tax-
Aide.

The information in this digest 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. Counselors are perfectly positioned to do this. Asking satisfied customers to
tell others about our service is a great way to get free publicity. Counselors, and leaders like you, also have
an opportunity to invite their acquaintances to help others through AARP Tax-Aide.

Equally important to the program is our ability to measure our success. We are required to report our service
statistic to the AARP Foundation Board of Directors and the IRS. Those service statistics, collected through
your leadership on site sign-in sheets and the new website, 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. We know that
paperwork is a necessary burden of the program, and we do not ask you to do it lightly. Some additional
examples of what impact you have on the program include:
   getting the volunteer rosters correct which helps volunteers get reimbursed
   getting site rosters correct to tell customers our locations (via the 888#, Internet, and IRS)
   assuring sites comply with program and, especially, grant requirements to protect our funding

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, 2008-2009 Season, 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.
                   About You                                 Data Management
Local Coordinator At A Glance             3    Submitting Tax Assistance Activity Data           33
Local Coordinator Position Description    4    Recording on the Site Sign-in Sheet (Exercise) 36
Local Coordinator Activity Schedule       6
Instructor Position Description           7
Instructor Activity Schedule              8

            About the Program                                      Site Administration
AARP Tax-Aide Mission and Organization        9      Site Selection & Scheduling                     39
Program‟s Customers                           11     Generating Local Publicity                      40
Program Organization Chart                    12     Site and Counselor Guidelines and Policies      44
AARP Foundation and AARP                      13     Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data   47
                                                     Site Lists & Guidelines                         51
                                                     Example of AARP Tax-Aide Site Flow              89

             People Management                                 Administrative Necessities
Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinator (new        16     Ordering Materials                              54
       position), CF Position Descriptions           Expense Reimbursement                           58
Counselor, ERO, SCO CF Recruitment            24     Insurance Coverage                              68
Volunteer Preparation                         26     Administrative Reports Summary                  69
Counselor Certification & Volunteer
       Assignment                             29
Volunteer Rosters and Record Keeping          30
Recognition of Service & Performance Review   32

                                              FORMS

Samples For Display                                  Samples for Local Coordinator/Instructor
  Self Study Quiz                             70       Instructor Biography Form                     85
  Scheduling Information                      71        Instructor Report of Certified Counselors    86
  Expense Statement                           72        Site Sign-In Sheet with Examples             36
  Direct Deposit Form                         74
  Personnel Form(abbreviated sample)          78     Actual Forms For Local Coordinator Use
  AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form            80        Site Sign-in Sheet                           76
  Volunteer/Site Recognition Order Form       82        Counselor Performance Review Form            85
                                                        Volunteer Assessment of AARP Tax-Aide        87




                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, 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,      now 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. (Also see letter on page 1 of this Local Coordinator Digest.)
Facilitators

Train EROs,     LCs teach Counselors, Electronic Return Originators (EROs), Shift Coordinators, and
Client          Client Facilitators about program policies, the value of protecting the security of
Facilitators,   taxpayer data, the activity statistics via Site Sign-in Sheets, along with their proper
and Counselors  recording & submission, and the importance of marking the site identification number
on Program      on all returns prepared. A new presentation has been developed to assist LCs with
Procedures
                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
“Staff” Quality information must be accurately recorded in the national database, VMIS, for 888# and
Sites           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 and required Intake Form, must be ordered from AARP (not the IRS)
                 and distributed by LCs, factoring in what has already been received from the advance
                 materials shipped by the National Office.
Maintain         LC‟s submit new Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinators, 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,
                 which 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.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 3
              AARP Tax-Aide Local Coordinator Position Description

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

Responsibilities      Sets goals and implements program plans for assigned geographic locality(ies).
of 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 AARP 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 4
Qualifications,    The LC must have the ability to implement program policy and provide direct
Length of          oversight of the program and its volunteers in a geographic locality. The LC is
Service &          appointed for a one year term, contingent upon satisfactory annual review, and
Eligibility        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           The position demands more time from September to May. The LC must acquire
Required           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         Counselors, EROs, SCOs, and Client Facilitators and administers the program
Authority          policies at the tax assistance sites.

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

Available          The LC will be afforded the necessary guidance, training and materials needed to
Resources          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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 5
                            Local Coordinator Activity Schedule
September      Receive appointment confirmation letter.
               Assess program needs and solicit 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, Intake/Quality Review Forms and Tax Record Envelopes.
               Order any needed items from the IRS, including any needed tax forms for the tax 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 LC and 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 AARP 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 first reporting period and submit them using
               the Web system.

March          Collect site statistics, personally or by delegate for the second reporting period and submit them
               using the 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 6
                       AARP Tax-Aide Instructor Position Description

Program &          AARP Tax-Aide provides free personal income tax assistance to low- and
Purpose of         moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and older. The
Position           Instructor is responsible for Counselor training and certification as determined
                   by program policy and the State Coordinator and State Management Team.

Responsibilities       Attends Instructor workshop and passes the advanced level of the IRS test for
of Position             certification.
                       Schedules Counselor training classes as required.
                       Provides instruction on income tax information and tax return preparation
                       Ensures ERO training is conducted.
                       Works with District and Local Coordinators to ensure that instruction is
                        provided to all site level volunteers on program policy and procedures,
                        especially on matters concerning confidentiality and security. (Preferably
                        using AARP Tax-Aide Program Policies and Procedures PowerPoint
                        available on the Extranet.)
                       Grades and returns IRS test to Counselors.
                       Reviews test results with Counselors and provides guidance for identified
                        weak areas.
                       Submits a list of Counselors who successfully pass the IRS test to the state‟s
                        Training Specialist (TRS), District and Local Coordinators.
                       Notifies Local Coordinators of Counselor‟s certification status.

Qualifications,    Instructors must have the ability and knowledge to effectively train volunteers in
Length of          tax law and the preparation of tax returns in a district (sub-state geographic area).
Service &          They must work effectively with diverse populations. The Instructor must pass
Eligibility        the advanced level of the IRS certification exam. The Instructor is appointed for
                   a one year term, contingent upon satisfactory annual review and certification,
                   and may be reappointed for additional one year terms. Instructors are eligible for
                   other AARP or AARP Foundation volunteer positions.

Time, Training,    The position requires the greatest time in the late fall and early winter as
& Travel           Instructors and Counselors are trained. Instructors must acquire tax proficiency
Required           sufficient to effectively train others (as minimally determined by passing the IRS
                   certification exam), as well as knowledge of AARP Tax-Aide program policies.
                   The Instructor must attend district and/or local meetings as well as training
                   sessions as necessary for performance of duties.

Appointed By,      Instructors are appointed by the District Coordinator (DC), in consultation with
Supervisor,        the State Coordinator and TRS. Instructors report directly to the DC. Instructors
& Scope of         train Counselors to assist in the preparation of tax returns for the target
Authority          population in accordance with program policy. They do not supervise another
                   AARP Tax-Aide volunteer position.




                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 7
Working             Instructors work closely with the TRS, a newly created district level position,
Relations &         Training Coordinator (TRC), DC, Technology Coordinators (for e-filing), Local
Progress Review     Coordinators and other AARP volunteers as required. Instructor performance is
                    monitored on an on-going basis, and reviewed annually by the DC with input
                    from the TRS.

Available           Instructors will be afforded the necessary guidance, training, and materials
Resources           needed to fulfill their responsibilities. Additional support and training are
                    provided from the AARP Tax-Aide State Coordinator, the IRS and the National
                    Office. AARP Tax-Aide reimburses volunteers for covered program related
                    expenses 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.



                                     Instructor Activity Schedule
September          Current Instructors submit final expense statement for all expenses incurred prior
                   to September 30 (end of fiscal year).

October            Attend district meeting as required.
                   If criteria met, receive invitation to Instructor workshop.

November/          Attend Instructor workshop, and pass IRS test for certification.
December           Receive appointment/confirmation letter.
                   Meet with TRC and other Instructors to plan Counselor/ERO class schedules,
                   allocate teaching assignments per class and establish grading procedure.
                   Prepare lesson plan for Counselor/ERO training, verify material orders, classroom
                   dates, facilities, times, etc.

January            Instruct classes as scheduled, grade and return tests, and report grades and
                   certification status of Counselors to Training Specialist and Local Coordinators.

April              Submit expense statements monthly or quarterly to supervising coordinator.




                                         LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 8
                      AARP Tax-Aide Mission and Organization
Mission: To provide high quality free income tax assistance and tax form preparation to low- and
middle-income taxpayers, with special attention to those age 60 and older.

Who We Are           AARP Tax-Aide is the nation‟s largest volunteer-run tax assistance and
                     preparation service, preparing tax returns and answering tax questions free of
                     charge. AARP Tax-Aide is a program of the AARP Foundation and is offered in
                     conjunction with the IRS.

Where We             Most taxpayers receive in-person assistance at one of the approximately 6,600
Serve Our            sites nationwide. Free electronic filing is offered at most sites nationwide. Sites
Taxpayers            are located in malls, libraries, banks, senior centers, and other convenient
                     facilities. We also provide shut-in service upon special request, whenever
                     possible. Year-round tax assistance is offered online at www.aarp.org/taxaide.
                     Quality reviewed answers are sent to taxpayers via email within a few business
                     days.

How Many             Over 33,000 volunteers make up AARP Tax-Aide. Virtually all provide tax
Volunteers           assistance, and 6,700 are also volunteer leaders.
Serve

Program              AARP Tax-Aide is a nationwide, volunteer-run program. Regional and state
Structure &          volunteer leaders share in setting policies while assuming most supervisory and
Administration       operational responsibilities. Volunteer tax assistance Counselors provide all
                     service-level tax assistance. Instructors provide tax training to Counselors.

Coordinator &        Coordinators recruit and supervise volunteers at all levels. Local Coordinators
Specialist           (LCs) ensure volunteer recruitment and training, volunteer certification, site
Roles                creation, site compliance with program policy, database accuracy, activity
                     reporting, and Counselor expense reimbursement. District Coordinators (DCs)
                     manage activity at the district level and recruit and supervise Local Coordinators.
                     State Coordinators (SCs) oversee all state activities and set operation policies.
                     Communications Coordinators (CCs) and Technology Coordinators (TCs)
                     support their specialty interests at the local levels. Specialists support
                     administration, partnerships and communications, technology, and training needs
                     at the state level. Regional Coordinators (RCs) guide and supervise State
                     Coordinators and serve on the National Leadership Team (NLT).

National             The National Leadership Team (NLT) of volunteer Regional Coordinators,
Leadership           National Committee Chairs and select National Office staff develop and
Team &               implement AARP Tax-Aide goals and objectives. National committees support
National             the NLT in the areas of leadership, technology, and tax training. National Office
Office Staff         staff coordinates program policies; maintains relationships with IRS and other key
                     partners, provides administrative support to volunteer leaders, and collects/reports
                     program impact, costs and other data.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 9
Electronic            AARP Tax-Aide offers free electronic filing at most sites nationwide using IRS
Filing                provided tax preparation software.

Internet Tax          Since 1998, AARP Tax-Aide has had a 24-hour year-round Internet tax assistance
Assistance            service at its Internet site (www.aarp.org/taxaide). Taxpayers can pose questions
                      online and get quality-reviewed answers back within a few business days.
Web Page              Located at www.aarp.org/taxaide, our website offers tax assistance, frequently
Features              asked tax questions, site locations, and other program information. Information
                      on AARP Tax-Aide volunteer opportunities, which are available for direct service
                      to taxpayers from late January 1 to April 15, at individual program sites or
                      leadership opportunities, is also available on the website.

Volunteer             Located at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers, this site offers information and tools to
Extranet              assist volunteers in performing the responsibilities of their AARP Tax-Aide
                      position.

CyberTax              Any program volunteer with email is encouraged to receive CyberTax, a
E-Mail                nationwide email newsletter containing periodic updates on the program, taxes,
Newsletter            and IRS. Email your name, program position, and state to taxaide@aarp.org to
                      join the CyberTax distribution list.

General volunteer     Tax assistance positions require training, successful completion of the IRS
position              certification exam, and agreement to the IRS Standards of Conduct. Leadership
descriptions          positions coordinate program delivery by volunteers at sites at the local, state, or
                      regional level or manage specific program activities such as technology, training,
                      administration, or communication. Although tax training and certification is
                      encouraged, it is not required for many leadership positions. Leadership position
                      descriptions are provided on the aarp.org/tavolunteers site.




Organizing the Geographic Territory
AARP Tax-Aide regional boundaries are predetermined by the AARP Tax-Aide National Office. State
boundaries apply except for California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Texas. These heavily populated states are split, with multiple AARP Tax-Aide “states” within their
geographic borders.

Within states or split-states, State Coordinators may organize into whatever geographic districts will
provide the most efficient, equitable, cost effective, or manageable division. A district is the
responsibility of one District Coordinator. District Coordinators may divide their district into workable
entities for assignment to Local Coordinators. In all cases, the boundaries should be clearly understood
by all volunteers and delineated by the responsible coordinator.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 10
                              AARP Tax-Aide’s Customers
How Many            During the 2008 tax season, from late January - April 15, we served nearly three
Customers           million customers, including the one-time Economic Stimulus Payments. Over
                    the past 40 years, we have served more than 47.7 million customers.
                                Who They Are (from 2007 survey)
Customer Age         9% 18-49                             34% 70 – 79
                     9% 50-59                             22% 80+
                    26% 60-69


Customer            36% Married                           60% Not Married
Marital Status


Gender              66% Female                            34% Male


Race/Ethnicity      85% White non-Hispanic                4% Hispanic              2% Native American
                     8% Black or African American         2% Asian/Pacific         *% Other


Household           44% Under $20,000                     22% $30,000-$49,000
Income (Annual)     26% $20,000-$29,000                    8% $50,000 or more


Repeat              23% Once                              39% Four+ Times
Customers           37% Two - Three Times


Working Status      70% Fully Retired                     30% Not Fully Retired


Customers’          56% 0 - 3 miles                   13% 6 - 9 miles
Proximity to Site   18% 4 - 5 miles                   12% 10+ miles
                                            What They Think

                                                           Excellent         Good        Fair    Poor
            Overall quality of AARP Tax-Aide‟s Service        84%            15%         1%      0%
                              Helpfulness of Volunteers       87%            12%         1%      0%
                          Tax Knowledge of Volunteers         79%            18%         2%      1%
How well the Volunteer explained the tax return to them       79%            19%         2%      1%
    Would they recommend AARP Tax-Aide to others?          97% Yes         2% Likely   1% No
Who would help them with their taxes if they didn‟t use  56%          36%           6%      2%
AARP Tax-Aide?                                         Pay for       Self or        IRS     Not
                                                      assistance     friend                 file
            (Source: 2007 AARP Tax-Aide Customer Satisfaction Survey – results are rounded)



                                    LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 11
                        Volunteer Organization Chart AARP Tax-Aide

Electronic Return       Counselor*           Client Facilitator          Non-Counselor          Shift Coordinator
Originator (ERO)         (COU)                     (CF)                      (NC)                     (SCO)



                                            Local Coordinator
                                                  (LC)                                           Local/District
                                                                                                 Team (LDT)

           Technology Coordinator                                 Communications Coordinator
                   (TC)                                                    (CC)


                                                                                                 Instructor
         Administration Coordinator
                                                                                                   (INS)
                   (AC)                                      Training Coordinator
                                                                    (TRC)

                            District Coordinator
                                                                                  Prospective Volunteer
                                   (DC)**
                                                                                   Coordinator (PVC)



            Administration Specialist                                  Training Specialist
                    (ADS)                                                    (TRS)



           Technology Specialist                                  Partnership/Communications
                  (TCS)                                                 Specialist (PCS)


                                   State Coordinator                                             State
                                          (SC)                                                Management
                                                                                              Team (SMT)



 Regional Administrative
        Advisor                          Regional Coordinator
         (RAA)                                     (RC)                      National Committee Chairs
                                                                          Technology, Training, Leadership

  Regional Technology
        Advisor                                                                                      National
                                                     AARP Tax-Aide                           Leadership Team
        (RTA)
                                                    National Office Staff                              (NLT)

Regional Training Advisor
         (RRA)                                                           Legend
                                                       Black Indicates Volunteer Supervisory Responsibility
          Regional                                              * Can be a Counselor or an online Counselor
Partnership/Communications                  ** In limited instances, with the approval of the National Office,
       Advisor (RPA)                      an acting position may exist to aid in management transition issues


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




                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 12
                                 Welcome to the AARP Foundation!
The AARP Foundation and AARP have a long-standing commitment to community service. Through our
collective efforts, millions of people are well served each year in communities across the country. AARP
Foundation and AARP volunteers are the heart of our community service programs. In your community, you
exemplify the AARP Foundation and AARP‟s commitment to helping others when offering services through
the AARP Tax-Aide program.

ABOUT THE AARP FOUNDATION

The AARP Foundation is the charitable arm of AARP committed to helping the most vulnerable members of
our society. Through the AARP Foundation, we bring independence, dignity and control to the lives of
people who need it most.

Opportunity, Justice, and Security best describe what the AARP Foundation does every day to improve the
lives of people as they age.

AARP Foundation Litigation is the nation‟s preeminent pubic interest advocacy group dedicated to
defending and advancing the legal rights and interests of older Americans. The Legal Advocacy group
works on a variety of issues involving age and disability discrimination in employment; pensions and other
employee and retiree benefits; financial fraud, including predatory lending; health and long-term care,
including access to high quality, affordable care and prescription medications; affordable, accessible housing
and other community services; and access to government and public benefits.

AARP Foundation Programs and Services – Annually, the Foundation‟s programs and services serves
millions of people annually by addressing the core issues that help older members of our society meet their
health and financial needs and reduce the risk that they will fall victim to poverty and fraud. Areas include:
financial services, employment and training, consumer protection education, public benefits enrollment,
caregiver guidance, and women‟s programs.

The Foundation programs rely on thousands of volunteers just like you to carry out the services that provide
a helping hand to those who need it most. We thank you for your dedication.

Funding the Foundation – The Foundation receives funding from multiple sources, including individual
donors, government grants, corporations, foundations, and support from AARP. Eighty-three percent of
what the Foundation spends goes to our important programs and services

The AARP Foundation: Empowering others, helping us all.


AARP FOUNDATION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES AT A GLANCE

FINANCIAL SERVICES
     AARP Tax-Aide is the nation‟s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service.
     More than 33,000 volunteers annually provide free tax assistance and preparation service at over
     6,600 sites across the country to over two million low and moderate income taxpayers, with special
     attention to those age 60 and older. Electronic filing and online tax assistance are also offered by the
     program. The program‟s funding sources include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), AARP, and
     private contributions. www.aarp.org/taxaide.


                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 13
       Money Management helps low income, older individuals remain independent by providing daily
       money management services to those who have difficulty budgeting, paying routine bills, and
       keeping track of financial matters. The program also offers financial education resources and tools to
       older adults and their caregivers. The Money Management program is funded by AARP.
       www.aarpmmp.org

EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
    WorkSearch A new AARP Foundation program that provides community level services to
    individuals who are seeking to remain in or re-enter the workforce. The WorkSearch program
    provides a variety of services including online interest and skills assessments, information about the
    local job market and connections to local training and employment opportunities.
    www.aarpmmp.org/worksearch.

       Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) helps individuals age 55 and older
       with limited income gain the job skills and work experience necessary to transition to permanent
       employment. In addition, the program provides over 8 million hours of community service annually
       to local nonprofit agencies that assist with training program participants, enabling them to expand
       and provide key services. The program, funded by the US Department of Labor, is sponsored by the
       AARP Foundation in 28 states and Puerto Rico. www.aarp.org/scsep.

CONSUMER PROTECTION EDUCATION
    ElderWatch projects fight financial exploitation of older Americans in the states of Colorado and
    West Virginia through direct client assistance to help resolve consumer-based disputes, extensive
    outreach and education and collection of data. The program‟s funding sources include the State‟s
    Attorneys General Office, AARP and private contributions. www.aarpelderwatch.org

       Consumer Fraud Prevention This project engages peer volunteers in alerting older consumers
       nationwide to telemarketing and other types of fraud that endangers the financial security of older
       individuals. Volunteers reach out to known and potential fraud victims and offer tips and
       information about telemarketing scams and other forms of fraud that may use wire transfer services.
       The program is designed to make at least 3 million contacts with older consumers over the next five
       years.

       Reverse Mortgage Education Project is the nation‟s leading source of independent consumer
       information on reverse mortgages and other less costly alternatives to help people remain in their
       homes. Reverse mortgages are in increasingly popular way for homeowners to tap the equity they
       have built in their homes and convert it to cash, without having to sell or make monthly payments.
       While popular, these types of mortgages can be complicated and expensive and are not right for
       everyone. www.aarp.org/revmort


PUBLIC BENEFITS ENROLLMENT
     Benefits Outreach offers assistance to older people with low or moderate incomes to find public and
     private benefit programs for which they may be eligible, to help pay for prescription drugs, doctor‟s
     bills, groceries, heating bills, property taxes and more. One way this program offers assistance is by
     encouraging the use of a free on line tool: Benefits QuickLink www.aarp.org/quicklink. The Benefits
     Outreach program is funded by AARP.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 14
GUIDANCE TO CARE FOR LOVED ONES
     Prepare to Care Today, 30 million households are providing care for an adult over the age of 50-and
     that number is expected to double over the next 25 years. In order to assist with this emerging
     caregiving need, we have developed Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families. This
     comprehensive guide includes information on how to get started, questions to ask and where to find
     basic resources. It also includes forms that you and your caregiving team can fill out and keep on file,
     so that you will have all the pertinent information about your loved one and his/her financial affairs,
     health needs, household matters, and more in one place. To download a free version, visit
     www.aarp.org/foundation and search “Prepare to Care.”

       Grandparenting provides information, referral and outreach for grandparents, policy makers,
       corporations and direct service providers, with a special emphasis on support for grandparents who
       provide care for their grandchildren. The program‟s funding sources include AARP and private
       contributions. www.aarp.org/grandparent

WOMEN’S PROGRAMS
   Through its Women‟s Programs, AARP Foundation is taking the steps necessary to help women take
   more control of their health and finances. Women‟s programs focus on those existing and new
   projects that help women secure financial security, health and social well being.
   www.aarpfoundationwlc.org

       Women’s Scholarship Program provides scholarship funds to women 40+ seeking new job skills,
       training, and educational opportunities to support themselves and their families. The AARP
       Foundation Women's Scholarship Program is available to eligible individuals with moderate to lower
       incomes and limited financial resources.

ABOUT AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and
over. It provides information and resources; engages in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assists
members in serving their communities; and offers a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and
services for members. These include AARP The Magazine published monthly, AARP Bulletin, its monthly
newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, its quarterly newspaper in Spanish; NRTA Live & Learn, its quarterly
newsletter for 50 +_educators; its website, www.aarp.org. AARP does not endorse candidates for public
office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. AARP has staffed offices in all 50
states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

State Offices are staffed with an AARP State Director and other employees who work in partnership with
volunteers serving in roles such as State President, State Executive Council, State Volunteer Community
Specialists and in AARP Chapters and NRTA units. This field structure creates a dynamic presence in every
community and responds to the needs and interests of AARP members at the local level.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 15
                 AARP TAX-AIDE COUNSELOR POSITION DESCRIPTION
Program &             AARP Tax-Aide provides free personal income tax assistance and preparation
Purpose of            to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those age 60
Position              and older. Counselors provide assistance in accordance with policies and
                      procedures of AARP Tax-Aide and IRS grant requirements.

Responsibilities of      Prepares tax forms and/or answers questions to the extent of his/her current
Position                  tax training, at assigned tax assistance sites.
                         Explains tax returns prepared to taxpayers as taxpayers are responsible for
                          the accuracy of the return.
                         Adheres to site schedules and guidelines.
                         Accepts no money or other gratuity for services.
                         Maintains the strict confidentiality and protects the security of all taxpayer
                          information and records at all times.
                         Adheres to program policies and procedures especially the Counselor
                          Guidelines and Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data sections in
                          the Counselor Digest.
                         Promotes and supports the AARP Tax-Aide program through word-of-
                          mouth, ensures sites are well identified by AARP Tax-Aide posters and
                          banners, and wears an AARP Tax-Aide name badge while serving at a site.
                         Records assistance given as outlined on the Site Sign-in Sheet.
                         Works well with diverse populations.

Qualifications        Counselors must pass the Advanced level of the IRS test to be certified by the
                      IRS for the purpose of providing tax assistance in this program and agree to the
                      standards of conduct, by signing, the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct
                      form.
Length of Service     Qualified Counselors (those passing the exam and signing the IRS Standards
& Eligibility         of Conduct) are certified for the tax season, and contingent upon satisfactory
                      annual review, may be re-certified for subsequent seasons. The tax season is
                      late January to April 15 (all year if assisting taxpayers through the program‟s
                      website and through Oct 15 if assisting taxpayers beyond April 15 with
                      questions or with late returns). Counselors are eligible for other AARP or
                      AARP Foundation volunteer positions.

Time, Training, &     Counselors volunteer at least an average of four hours a week during the tax
Travel                season, usually from late January to April 15, plus 3-5 days of training in
                      January. Counselors acquire tax knowledge through attendance at Counselor
                      class. Counselors must also be trained in program policies and procedures to
                      properly record assistance given on the site sign-in sheet. Counselors travel
                      locally to training and AARP Tax-Aide sites.

Appointed By,      Counselors are appointed to sites by a Local Coordinator after IRS certification
Supervisor, &      and program policy and administrative training sessions are completed.
Scope of Authority Counselors report directly to the Local Coordinator and do not supervise any
                      other volunteer. They may work under the leadership of a Shift Coordinator in
                      sites utilizing this new position.



                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 16
Working            Counselors work closely with taxpayers, Electronic Return Originators (EROs)
Relations &        when e-filing, Shift Coordinators, and their Local Coordinator. Local
Progress Review    Coordinators evaluate Counselors on an on-going basis.

Available          Counselors will be afforded the necessary guidance, training and materials
Resources          needed to fulfill their responsibilities. Additional support and training beyond
                   that provided by Local Coordinators and Shift Coordinators are provided from
                   Instructors, EROs, and Technology Coordinators. AARP Tax-Aide reimburses
                   volunteers for reasonable covered program related expenses 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 17
     AARP TAX-AIDE ELECTRONIC RETURN ORIGINATOR (ERO) POSITION
                           DESCRIPTION

Program &             The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free personal income tax assistance
Purpose of            and tax form preparation to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special
Position              attention to those age 60 and older. The Electronic Return Originator (ERO)
                      works with the Local/Site Coordinator (LC), the Technology Coordinator
                      (TC), any Shift Coordinator assigned at the site, and the Counselors to
                      electronically file federal and state tax returns with the IRS and state
                      Departments of Revenue via IRS- provided tax preparation software
                      (TaxWise™) and the software provider (CCH).
Responsibilities of   Guided by the policies and procedures of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
Position              Program, an ERO:

                       Complies with program policy and procedures, especially the
                        Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer data document. This document,
                        with critical security policy, is included in the Counselor Digest,
                        Technology Management Guide, Policy Manual, and Extranet.
                       Utilizes a tracking process to ensure that all returns ready for e-filing are
                        actually transmitted and worked to resolution (acceptance or mailing).
                       Transmits prepared e-files to the CCH Electronic Filing Center (includes
                        State e-files).
                       Receives IRS/State e-file Acceptance or Rejection;
                       Assures rejected e-file returns are resolved.
                       Maintains required IRS and State e-file records (including master disk of
                        Accepted returns) until the end of the tax season.
                       Sends IRS copy of accepted 8453s to appropriate IRS Service Center.
                       At the end of the tax season, sends to the TC, TCS, or IRS Territory
                        Manager (TM) (a) encrypted backup media containing all accepted returns,
                        (b) copies of all required Forms 8879 and 8453 and attachments, (c) all
                        Acknowledgement Reports and (d) deletes all taxpayer data from
                        computer(s).
                       Provides reports as requested by the TC or TCS.
                       Provides ongoing support to electronic filing Counselors by answering
                        questions and addressing anomalies that occur during electronic filing
                        procedures. Communicates problems to TC for resolution.

Qualifications        ERO must have a working knowledge of personal computers, software, and
                      electronic communication systems. ERO must pass the required sections of
                      the IRS certification exam to qualify as a Counselor and become proficient
                      with the IRS supplied tax preparation software.

Term of Service &     ERO is appointed for a one-year term and, upon satisfactory annual review and
Eligibility           continued Counselor certification, may be re-appointed for subsequent one
                      year terms. ERO is eligible for other AARP or AARP Foundation volunteer
                      positions.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 18
Time, Training, &   The position is most active during late January through April. EROs must
Travel              acquire knowledge of tax law (for reject resolution), electronic filing
                    procedures, including software and hardware issues, as well as an orientation
                    to AARP Tax-Aide program. ERO assists in the implementation and operation
                    of district e-filing sites and attends meetings as necessary. The ERO may be
                    required to travel to several tax sites.

Appointment and    LC appoints the EROs with the concurrence of the DC. The ERO reports
Supervision, &     directly to the LC. ERO assists the LC and any Shift Coordinator utilized at the
Scope of Authority site, in all matters concerning the electronic filing of federal and state tax
                    returns at assigned site(s).

Working             EROs maintain a close working relationship with the LC, any Shift
Relations &         Coordinator utilized at the site, e-filing Counselors, district‟s TC, and CCH for
Progress Review     the electronic filing of federal and state tax returns. The ERO‟s performance is
                    monitored by the LC with feedback from the Shift Coordinators and district‟s
                    TC.

Available           AARP Tax-Aide reimburses ERO for reasonable covered program expenses
Resources           (usually just mileage) as set out in AARP Tax-Aide policy. The ERO cannot
                    be reimbursed for “S” expense items.

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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 19
     AARP TAX-AIDE SHIFT COORDINATOR (SCO) POSITION DESCRIPTION
Program &             The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free personal income tax assistance
Purpose of            and tax form preparation to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special
Position              attention to those age 60 and older. The Shift Coordinator (SCO) provides
                      assistance in accordance with policies and procedures of AARP Tax-Aide and
                      IRS grant requirements. A SCO is responsible for coordinating and managing
                      all phases of site operations at a specific site during an assigned period of time
                      (shift) acting for the Local Coordinator (LC). This is done following the
                      general direction of the Local Coordinator and in accordance with District and
                      State guidelines and National policies.

Responsibilities of
                      Supported by the policies and procedures of the AARP Foundation and AARP
Position
                      Tax-Aide, under the direction of the Local Coordinator, the Shift Coordinator
                      (SCO):
                          Manages site operations for a specific shift, including physical setup,
                          following local and district policies.
                          Manages the activities of the Counselors, Client Facilitators, and ERO
                          assigned to the shift. Arranges for substitutes as needed.
                          Oversees the flow of clients to Counselors considering the difficulty of the
                          return and the experience of the Counselor.
                          Provides or directs other Counselors to provide quality reviews for all
                          returns.
                          Reports issues/problems to Local Coordinator.
                          Ensures that all AARP Tax-Aide data security procedures are followed.
                          Ensures that completed and quality reviewed returns are promptly
                          transferred to the ERO and transmitted in accordance with the schedule
                          established by the Local Coordinator.
                          Ensures that all client material is properly secured, including during and at
                          the end of the shift.
                          Ensures that proper backups to electronic data have been made.
                          Ensures that equipment is properly secured and that host-provided
                          equipment has been arranged or stored as agreed upon at the end of the
                          shift.
                          Completes the Sign-in Sheet(s) as directed by the Local Coordinator.
                          Advises the Local Coordinator of the need for supplies for future shifts.
                          Reports equipment problems and status to the Local Coordinator and/or
                          the District Technology Coordinator as appropriate.

Qualifications        The Shift Coordinator should be an experienced Counselor and experience as
                      an ERO is most desirable. The SCO must have passed the IRS certification
                      exam.
Term of Service &
                      The SCO is appointed for a one year term, contingent upon satisfactory annual
Eligibility
                      review, and may be re-appointed for subsequent one-year terms. The SCO is
                      eligible for other AARP or AARP Foundation volunteer positions.




                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 20
Time, Training, &
                    The position requires major effort during the tax filing season, February to
Travel
                    April. Some time will be required prior to the start of the season for
                    management training. The SCO must acquire a current knowledge of
                    operational and administrative procedures associated with the program as well
                    as a basic orientation to AARP, as provided by the National Office, DC, and
                    LC. There is no responsibility beyond the site to which assigned.

Appointment and
                   The SCO is appointed by the Local Coordinator with the concurrence of the
Supervision, &
                   District Coordinator and reports directly to the Local Coordinator. The SCO
Scope of Authority
                    assists the LC in matters relating to the operation of the site and manages the
                    activities of the ERO, Counselors, and Client Facilitators assigned to their
                    shift. The LC remains the supervisor of all volunteers assigned to a site.

Working
                    The SCO works closely with the Local Coordinator and with members of the
Relations &
                    district staff as needed. The SCO‟s performance is monitored on an ongoing
Progress Review
                    basis and reviewed annually by the Local Coordinator.

Available           The SCO will be afforded the necessary guidance, training, and materials
Resources           needed to facilitate leadership responsibilities. AARP Tax-Aide reimburses
                    volunteers for reasonable covered program related expenses as set forth in the
                    Policy Manual. SCO is reimbursed similarly to Counselors, EROs, and Client
                    Facilitators.
Volunteer Policy
                    All 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 21
AARP TAX-AIDE CLIENT FACILITATOR (CF) POSITION DESCRIPTION
Program &             The Client Facilitator (CF) works with the AARP Tax-Aide site Local
Purpose of            Coordinator (LC) and performs receptionist-type duties.
Position

Responsibilities of   Guided by the policies and procedures of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
Position              Program, a CF:

                            Welcomes clients and ensures they are checked off an appointment log
                             or sequenced on the site sign-in sheet to be assisted by a Counselor.
                            Initially screens to determine that each client has brought correct forms
                             and documents required to accurately complete their tax return.
                            Initially screens to determine when a client‟s return is outside of AARP
                             Tax-Aide scope. Refers to a Counselor for final determination.
                            Assists clients in filling out portions of the AARP Tax-Aide Intake
                             Sheet and other required papers. The CF will not address tax questions
                             (unless also happens to be certified as a Counselor).
                            Keeps information (such as waiting time) flowing to clients who are in
                             the waiting area.
                            Ensures appropriate production data is entered on the site sign-in sheet
                             by the Counselor /quality reviewer as each client departs, and before
                             another client is served.
                            May assist counselors and the ERO in maintaining an orderly file
                             system of client tax folders.
                            Distribution any appropriate literature to clients.
                            Complies with program policies and procedures, especially the
                             Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer data document. This
                             document is included in the Counselor Digest, Technology
                             Management Guide, Policy Manual, and Extranet.

Qualifications        The CF must receive annual training on program policies and procedures and
                      agree to the standards of conduct, by signing, the IRS Volunteer Standards of
                      Conduct form. The CF must also be organized, personable, and enjoy working
                      with people. The CF will need skill in dealing with clients that want immediate
                      answers to their tax questions but will sometimes be required to wait for
                      answers from a tax Counselor.

Length of Service     The CF is appointed for a one-year term and, contingent upon satisfactory
& Eligibility         annual review, may be re-appointed for subsequent one-year terms. The CF is
                      eligible for other AARP or AARP Foundation volunteer positions.

Time, Training, &     The position runs during the standard 1040 processing season from late
Travel                January through April 15th. An average of at least one shift each week is
                      required during this period. A typical shift takes four to five hours.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 22
Training            Training by the LC (or an acceptable designate) will be required to become
Required            familiar with program policy, administrative matters such as site sign-in sheets
                    and AARP Tax-Aide Intake and Quality Review Form, applicable site
                    procedures, and orientation to the AARP Tax-Aide program.

Travel Required     The CF will not be required to travel expect to work at the assigned sites.

Appointed By,      The CF is appointed and reports directly to the LC and does not supervise any
Supervisor, &      other volunteer position.
Scope of Authority

Working             The CF maintains a close working relationship with the LC, any Shift
Relations &         Coordinator utilized at the site, and Counselors working at the AARP Tax-
Progress Review     Aide site. The LC monitors the CF‟s performance on an on-going basis and
                    provides an annual performance appraisal.

Available           AARP Tax-Aide reimburses CF for reasonable covered program expenses
Resources           (usually just mileage) as set out in AARP Tax-Aide policy.

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




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 23
   Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinator, and Client Facilitator Recruitment

Word of Mouth   All volunteers can and should recruit new Counselors, EROs, Shift Coordinators
Recruiting      (SCOs), and Client Facilitators by word-of-mouth. Customers who show proficiency
                preparing their own taxes are good candidates for Counselors. Local Coordinators can
                consider recruiting SCOs for multi-day sites to assist in effective site management.

Media           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.)

888# &          AARP Tax-Aide receives candidate volunteer prospects from four systems:
Automatic        Prospects who call 1-888-OURAARP to volunteer are forwarded to the state‟s
Referral          Prospective Volunteer Coordinator (PVC) and forwarded on to “contact”
Pipelines         volunteers for follow-up.
                 Prospects who e-mail their interest from our Web page are forwarded on to the
                  state‟s PVC for follow-up.
                 Prospects who write or call to the National Office are forwarded on to the state‟s
                  PVC for follow-up.
                 People who express interest in AARP Tax-Aide via general AARP recruitment
                  tools are automatically forwarded to the state‟s PVC for follow-up.

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 Unrestricted Items 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). A new presentation for Quality Review is also
                 available on that site.


                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 24
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.

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 will assist taxpayers only on those topics that are within scope. Scope
Topics (Scope of   includes tax topics covered in IRS volunteer training materials or in AARP Tax-
Assistance)        Aide training classes provided that Counselors have been qualified under AARP
                   Tax-Aide procedures below. Counselors are not to deal with topics (including state
                   returns) on which they have not received AARP Tax-Aide training.

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
                   new PowerPoint presentation (Quality Site Requirements) has been developed for
                   Local Coordinators, Shift Coordinators, and others to communicate site
                   requirements.
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-
Facilitators
                   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
                   Counselors Digest that should be used to help volunteers understand key program
                   policies and procedures. .




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 25
                                      Volunteer Preparation
Counselors ultimately do four (4) things:

1. Become                                        classroom training
   Certified                                     pass IRS open book exam
                                                 Sign Volunteer Standards of Conduct

2. Provide Free                                  prepare federal, state, and local tax forms
   Tax                                           submit returns for a second person quality review
   Assistance                                    answer lots of questions

3. Report                                        Carefully note service on site Sign-in Sheet
   Service                                       give any service not reported on sign-in sheets to
                                                  coordinator

4. Promote                                       tell customers to tell a friend about our service
   Program                                       ask interested others to volunteer with the program
                                                 promote 888# & website to find sites or volunteers
                                                  (see number and address below)
                                                 promote website to get year-round tax assistance (see
                                                  address on the front cover of this manual)



Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators should know that:

Size of           We‟re big. Over 33,000 volunteers helped nearly 3,000,000 customers last year
Program           (including the one-time Economic Stimulus Payments) at approximately 6,600 sites
                  nationwide, within the scope of their tax training.

Locating Sites    We‟re easy to find. Call toll-free 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669), or use the
                  AARP Tax-Aide Web page (http://www.aarp.org/taxaide).

Electronic        AARP Tax-Aide offers electronic filing at most sites nationwide. Once you learn the
Filing            software, it‟s fun.

CyberTax E-       Sign up! Any program volunteer with email is eligible to join CyberTax, a nationwide
Mail Network      email network for periodic updates on the program, taxes, and IRS. Email your name,
                  program position, and state to <taxaide@aarp.org>.

Web Page          Our page offers program site locations, year-round tax assistance, asked and answered
Features          tax questions, program information, and volunteer opportunities.

Internet Tax      Internet tax Counselors are needed! Interested volunteers (with internet access) should
Assistance        email sign up in the Forms section of the Extranet (www.aarp.org/tavolunteers) .




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 26
Volunteering       Anyone can volunteer with us by calling toll-free 1-888-OURAARP (1-888-687-2277)
Via Telephone      and following the prompts.

Program            AARP Tax-Aide is a program of the AARP Foundation offered in conjunction with
Ownership          IRS. The program is ultimately owned by its volunteers, especially you.

Program            The AARP Foundation provides roughly one-half of program funding; the IRS and
Funding            private contributions and grants provide the balance.


Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators should expect:

Satisfaction           Appreciative customers and strong camaraderie with fellow volunteers.

Orientation            Orientation to the program, the AARP Foundation, and AARP.

Understanding          Explanation of program policy and procedures:
Program Policy,         the need for maintaining the confidentiality and security of taxpayer data.
Administrative          the need for second person/Counselor quality review.
Needs and Benefits
                        the need for service promotion and word-of-mouth recruitment.
                        the need for capturing service statistics.
                        volunteer expense reimbursement policies and procedures.
                        volunteer insurance coverage.

Self-Study             Opportunity to order prior year software or tax training materials for self-study.

Classroom Training     Classroom and alternative tax training as well as training on the use of tax software
                       and reporting forms to record assistance provided by Counselors.

Certification &        An IRS, open book, certification exam, taken by yourself, and a commitment to
Commitment             volunteer an average of four hours per week over the tax season.

Pledge to Values       To commit to the AARP Tax-Aide‟s Statement of Understanding (next page) after
                       passing the exam, as a pledge to yourself about accepting our shared values.
                       Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators (all volunteers) must sign the IRS
                       Volunteer Standards of Conduct form.

Site Assignment &      Assignment to one or more AARP Tax-Aide sites to work with and be helped by
Quality Review         experienced leaders and Counselors, understanding that quality review of all prepared
                       returns is the expected norm.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 27
                                            Who We Are
AARP Tax-Aide Is…

   A free, nationwide, confidential service that prepares tax returns and answers tax questions;
   Available to taxpayers with low- and moderate-income, with special attention to those age 60 and older;
   A charitable, non-profit program administered by the AARP Foundation;
   Over 33,000 IRS-certified volunteers committed to high-quality service through intensive training and
    quality review of their work.


                                     Statement of Understanding

An AARP Tax-Aide Volunteer will:
 Maintain strict confidentiality and protect the security of all taxpayer information and records at all
   times.
 Understand AARP Tax-Aide‟s specific program structure and operations and abide by program policies.
 Refuse any compensation, tips, etc. that may be offered.
 Never solicit business from the taxpayers assisted or use the knowledge gained about them for any direct
   or indirect benefit for me or any other specific individual.
 Work at (a) program site(s) as assigned, record all assistance, preparation and Quality Review on sign-in
   sheets even if “only” to answer tax questions and note the site identification number (SIDN) at the
   bottom of all program prepared returns.
 Serve customers with courtesy and confidentiality, regardless of sex, race, religion, national origin,
   creed, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
 Encourage customers to tell their friends about AARP Tax-Aide‟s free service.
 Promote the toll-free number (1-888-227-7669) and AARP Tax-Aide website (www.aarp.org/taxaide)
   for site locations and volunteer recruitment.
 Treat fellow volunteers courteously and respect them as valued colleagues.
 Use AARP Tax-Aide resources in a prudent and cost effective manner.

In addition to the above, AARP Counselors will:
 Learn tax law through classroom tax training using IRS materials, and pass the IRS-certified exam.
 Assist taxpayers to the extent of current AARP Tax-Aide provided tax training referring any taxpayers
    needing assistance beyond that training to paid professional tax preparer or the IRS. No specific paid
    preparer or business can be named.
 Refer service if you do not feel qualified on a particular issue(s) or deny service if you feel that the
    person is giving misleading tax information.
 Encourage taxpayers to participate, to the extent possible, in completing their own tax forms as the
    taxpayer retains full responsibility for the accuracy of the return. Explain the return to the taxpayer.
 Ensure second person/Counselor quality review of each tax return prepared. The program standard is to
    have that review completed by a second experienced Counselor.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 28
                 Counselor Certification & Site Volunteer Assignment

Certification    Counselor certification is crucial to program credibility. AARP Tax-Aide
Requirement      Counselors (and EROs) must be certified annually by receiving a passing grade on
                 the open-book test developed by the IRS and signing the IRS‟ Standards of
                 Conduct. Counselors must pass the Advance level of the IRS test. Client
                 Facilitators are not required to be certified.

Grading Exams    Instructors grade the test and inform the volunteer by returning the graded test.
                 This process must included an established practice for all Instructors to give notice
                 to Local Coordinators and District Coordinators to ensure that only volunteers who
                 pass the current IRS test assist taxpayers with returns and remain in the database as
                 Counselors. In the event a volunteer does not pass the test, the volunteer can pass a
                 retest in order to gain certification. The Instructor or another leader (determined by
                 the SC) must keep the Counselor‟s signed Volunteer Standards of Conduct until
                 December 31.

Passing Or       After successfully passing the test or retest, Counselors are assigned to sites and
Failing Exam     receive necessary program materials. Volunteers who fail to pass the retest cannot
                 be certified or assigned as Counselors, but may serve a variety of customer service
                 functions within sites, including by serving as Client Facilitators especially in
                 larger, busy sites.

Assignment to a Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators are assigned to the AARP Tax-Aide sites
Site            based on program requirements, then preference. See scheduling information form
                 in the back of this digest and the 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 ongoing training, 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.

Keeping          If Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators cannot fulfill their assignments, it is
Schedules        essential that they arrange for certified substitutes or contact their supervisor in
                 advance. Special assignments for shut-in visits, foreign languages, and other events
                 may occur.

Volunteer        After successfully completing training on taxes and AARP Tax-Aide policies,
Identification   passing the test, and signing the Volunteer Standards of Conduct form each
at Sites         Counselor and ERO should receive an AARP Tax-Aide name card and plastic
                 holder (available via AARP Tax-Aide Order Form). Client Facilitators must attend
                 program policy and procedures training and sign the Volunteers Standards of
                 Conduct form before received the name card and holder for the current year.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 29
                           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
                  LC       Local Coordinator               AC       Administrative Coordinator
                  SCO      Shift Coordinator               TRS      Training Specialist
                  COU      Counselor                       TCS      Technology Specialist
                  ERO      Electronic Return Originator    DC       District Coordinator
                                                           CF       Client Facilitator

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
Updating          year started should be made directly on the roster. Another volunteer's name may
Rosters           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 updated.

Forms To Use      Supervising coordinators use personnel forms (paper or electronic version) to add
for new           new volunteers, with separate forms for COU, ERO, SCOs and CF; and leaders.
volunteers and    (Note: an email containing the same information as the personnel forms is also
late changes      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 Foundation has a national database of all volunteers participating in any of
Database          the programs it provides. Once a volunteer is entered into the database, they are
(VMIS)            assigned an 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 reimbursement, materials shipment,
                  and insurance certification. Careful LC attention to roster editing and personnel
                  information is critical.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 30
“Inactive”        If a volunteer is not serving during a particular tax season that volunteer‟s ID# is
Status            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.

Revised Rosters   All Volunteer Rosters sent from the ADS for editing by LCs and other local
                  volunteers are used to update the national database prior to flat rate expense form
                  generation in March. A revised All Volunteer Roster is sent to each DC and/or LC
                  covering his/her sub-district. Personnel changes after rosters have been revised
                  must be made on a personnel form or as advised by the ADS.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 31
                    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.
Performance
                 Counselors should be given timely feedback regarding tax law, using
Review
                 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 32
                         Submitting Tax Assistance Activity Data
Why Report        Reporting activity levels is important to the AARP Tax-Aide Program. This
Activity?         information is need 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.

A New Process     The process for collecting and reporting on activities will be very similar to the
Exists for        process utilized last year during the introduction of the Web-based Activity
Activity          Reporting system. The process is easier, faster, and more streamlined for the
Reporting         volunteers to do.

                  The 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 internet This website can be accessed
                  via the Volunteer extranet (under “Hot Topics” at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers).

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:
volunteers?
                     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 calculated 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 return 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 as
                      shown in the TaxWise™ data (also referred to as data from alternate
                      sources)




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 33
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 new process. On the back of the form are
                  improved instructions and definitions. The Sign-in sheet is available for
                  ordering from the AARP fulfillment warehouse, is listed in the back of this
                  guide and is available on the volunteer extranet.

Recording         Counselors should fill out a line on the Site Sign-in Sheet each time they help a
Service           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.

                  The service being recorded includes information on returns submitted to the
                  IRS as well as 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.

                  The tax season reporting periods will end on the last day of February, the last
                  day of March and April 26th. 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 27th through September 30th).
outside of the
Tax Season        For services during this period, the new 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.

Recording         If volunteers assist significant taxpayers away from a site, they may want to
Special Service   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. Quality
                  review is reported by initialing the appropriate columns on the Site 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.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 34
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 26th. 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      This information will be collected using an alternate method, i.e. the taxpayer
service and       survey. Because of this, it is no longer being asked for as part of the New
Taxpayers with    Activity Reporting Process. The new process of collecting this type of
Disabilities      information will be easier for the 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
Counseling        the volunteer survey already conducted regularly by AARP. In addition, the
Hours             listing of site hours of operation as recorded in the national database, VMIS,
                  will be a secondary source to calculate hours based on the reported hours of
                  operation for individual sites.

Where to get      Complete presentations and training materials are available from your State
more              Management Team and are also posted on the volunteer extranet (as listed on
information on    the cover of this manual).
this process




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 35
                      Examples of how to fill out the Site Sign in Sheet
Review these taxpayer interview examples, noting how each one is recorded on the Site Sign-in
   Sheet on the next page. Edward Adams and Mary Brown helped the following customers.
   All forms were quality reviewed by Alex Cross.
1) A few days prior to working at the site, Mr. Adams visited Mr. Sam Baker, a disabled customer,
    at his home. He took Alex Cross with him to check any return prepared. Edward prepared a
    federal return, but a state return was not required. Mr. Baker is single.
2) Mary did a federal and state return for Ms. Jennifer Smith, a single woman. During the
    interview, Mary discovered that Ms. Smith did not file a federal return last year and should have.
     Mary also assisted Ms. Smith in filing a prior year’s return.
3) Mary answered questions of a customer about the sale of stocks & bonds. Mary did not assist
    this customer in completing any forms.
4) Mr. Thomas Jones asked if he had to belong to AARP to have his taxes done. Edward assured
    him that he did not, and discovered that Mr. Jones has completed a federal return earlier by
    himself. In reviewing the return Mr. Jones completed, Edward discovered some errors and
    learned that Mr. Jones should have filed a return last year but had failed to do so. Edward
    prepared an amended return and a prior year return for Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is single.
5) Mary prepared a state return for Mr. & Mrs. Jefferson. Because of their income level, they did
    not file a federal return.
6) Edward did a joint federal return, state return and estimated taxes for next year for Mr. & Mrs.
    Washington. The joint federal return was prepared for electronic filing.
7) Edward helped Mr. John Cage prepare and submit an amended federal tax return. The return
    was given to Mr. Cage to mail to the IRS. Mr. Cage is single.
8) Mary helped Mr. David Plant with completing federal returns that he had never submitted for the
    last 2 years because he had been to sick and did not realize that he needed to submit a federal
    return. The return was given to Mr. Plant to mail to the IRS. Mr. Plant is married.
9) Diane Cohn came to the site to have her taxes completed. During the tax session, Diane
    discovered that she had forgotten some forms on her kitchen table. The counselor, Mary Brown,
    was able to do the majority of her return without the missing documents, but had to send Diane
    home to collect the missing documents and return. Diane was not able to return to the site for a
    week.
10) AJ Kneel had come to the tax site on February 20th to have his federal and state taxes done.
    Unfortunately, AJ did not have all his tax forms with him on this first visit. He is now returning
    to complete his tax return with all the missing tax forms. Edward Adams is helping him with his
    tax return.
11) Diane Johnson came into the site in March to have an amended federal return completed.
    Edward Adams helped her.
12) Jim Glass, who is filing jointly, came to a site to have his joint return completed. Everything was
    done, but his wife Mary was not available to sign the return. Jim took form 8879 home to get her
    signature and returned the next weekend with the form signed. Edwards Adams helped him on
    his first visit. Jim wants his return e-filed. Jim is not counted until he brings back the
    completed, and signed, form.
13) Art Tab had his return developed last week. He needed his wife to sign form 8879, but she was
    not with him. Now he is returning with the signed form, and his return can now be counted.
    Mary Brown assists him.
14) Meaghan Call had a local city and state return completed at an AARP Tax-Aide site. Due to her
    financial situation she did not have a Federal return completed or submitted. She had no other
    AARP Tax-aide activity. Mary Brown worked with Meaghan and Alex performed a quality
    review on her return.
15) When Mary was done with Meaghan Call, Mrs. Call asked about her grown daughter’s need to
    file. Once Mary answered Mrs. Call’s his questions, Meaghan Call left the site.


                                LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 36
      AARP Tax-Aide
                                                                                                                                                                               Site Sign-In Sheet
                                                                                                                                                                                 (Activity Reporting Record)

                                                                                                                                                                                 March 2nd
              Taxpayer‟s Name                                        Type of Service




                                                                                                                                                 6) All Quality Review


                                                                                                                                                                                  7) Counselor Initials
                                                             __________________Site ID #
                                                                (paper &/or efile)                                                                                             __________________ Date(s)
          (also include those helped




                                                                                                                                                    2nd counselor‟s Initials
                     with
         questions and answers only)                                                                                                                                                                      8) Counselor‟s/




                                                    1) Federal Return


                                                                         2) Federal Return


                                                                                              3) Federal Return


                                                                                                                        4)


                                                                                                                                5) Question &
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reviewer‟s




                                                                                                                  Only Return


                                                                                                                                   Answer Only
                                                                                                                  State/Local
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Comments

                                                        (Current Year)


                                                                               (Prior Year)
                                                                                                                                                                                                             (if needed)




                                                                                                    (Amended)
                PLEASE PRINT
                  CLEARLY

1.      Baker, S.                                           √                                                                                        AC                         EA
2.      Smith, J.                                           √                  √                                                                     AC                         MB
3.      Q and A                                                                                                                      √                                          MB
4.      Jones T.                                                               √                    √                                                AC                         EA
5.      Jeffersons                                                                                                     √                             AC                         MB
6.      Washingtons                                         √                                                                                        AC                         EA
7.      Cage                                                                                        √                                                AC                         EA
8.      Plant                                                                  √                                                                     AC                         MB
9.      Cohn                                                                                                                                                                    MB                        Missing forms-returning

10.     AJ Kneel                                            √                                                                                        AC                         EA                        Returned with forms

11.     Diane J                                                                                     √                                                AC                         EA                        Corrected other’s error

12.     Jim Glass                                                                                                                                    AC                         EA                        2nd Signature needed

13.     A Tab                                               √                                                                                                                   MB                        2nd Signature given

14.     Meaghan Call                                                                                                   √                             AC                         MB
15.     M. Call- daughter                                                                                                            √                                          MB
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
                    TOTALS:                                 5                   3                   3                  2             2                  11
      Counselor Instructions on Back of Form
      AARP Tax-Aide is a program of the AARP
      Foundation, offered in conjunction with the
      IRS.




                                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 37
                                    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
     www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.
  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
     September.
For more information, contact your supervisor or visit the AARP Web extranet site at
www.aarp.org/tavolunteers/




                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 38
                                  Site 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.

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.

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
                      provided.
                     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          Service to isolated locations or smaller towns may not be required on a weekly basis;
Locations         therefore, other cost-effective options should be considered:
                   Send a team of Counselors only once or just a few times during the season.
                   Request persons come to the nearest site by car, senior van, carpool, etc.
                   Refer inquirers to sites in nearby towns, other providers, or the IRS.

Walk-In &         Sites may be set up by the LC for walk-in service, prior appointment or a combination
Appointment       of both. Appointment basis requires scheduling of customers with Counselors. Walk-
Sites             in sites use sign-in sheets to establish the sequence of interviews noting that those 60
                  and older are given priority, if requested.

Site              Sites should be open at least four hours at a time. Most sites are open one or more
Availability      days each week during the tax season. Many are open multiple days per week to
                  maximize e-file resources.




                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 39
                                    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 guide 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
                   Tax-Aide.

Seek Sponsor       Visit your local site sponsors, senior centers, nursing homes, hospitals, and churches
Publicity          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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 40
                                              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. This year the 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
                 duplication.

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 & accurate).

Letters to the   A good letter to the editor is (also available through your leaders or on the volunteer
Editor           website in the Partnership & Communication Guide at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers):
                  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
                    publication;
                  Be signed (don't be surprised if a paper calls to verify your signature).




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 41
                           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 help people file basic 1040 tax return forms.
                    AARP Tax-Aide is administered by the AARP Foundation.
                    Last year, over 33,000 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers helped nearly three million
                     taxpayers file their federal, state, and local returns. This include one-time
                     Economic Stimulus payments.
                    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 6,6,00 sites nationwide, most of
                     which additionally 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 2008 AARP Tax-Aide celebrated it‟s 40th Anniversary assisting low-and
                     middle- income taxpayers.

Community           AARP Tax-Aide services are available during the standard 1040 filing season
Service              through April 15th each year at 6,,600 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 a few 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 42
Program            AARP Tax-Aide assistance is provided by over 33,000 volunteers across the
Volunteers          country who are trained and IRS-certified to provide tax assistance in filing basic
                    tax forms.
                   Volunteer positions include: (1) Counselors who provide one-on-one assistance to
                    low- and middle- 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 web site at www.aarp.org/taxaide
                   Visit our volunteer website at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers



 Counselor, ERO, Shift Coordinator, and Client Facilitator Responsibility for
                                Publicity
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 call toll-free,
                1-888-OURAARP (1-888-687-2277). Or, they can visit our website at
                www.aarp.org/taxaide and complete our online volunteer recruitment form. 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 return!

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, AARP Tax-Aide envelopes must be given to all
Envelope        customers for whom a tax return is prepared. IRS envelopes cannot be used in
                place of the AARP Tax-Aide envelope.




                                    LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 43
                         Site and Counselor Guidelines and Policies

Age Thresholds       AARP Tax-Aide provides free tax assistance to taxpayers with low- and moderate-
on Service           income, with special attention to individuals age 60 and older. Assistance should be
                     provided to individuals under 60 if:
                      assistance to 60 and older customers is given priority, and
                      no additional program expense is incurred.

Taxpayer             Taxpayers retain sole responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of their tax
Responsibility for   forms. Counselors should encourage taxpayers to participate, to the extent possible,
Tax Returns          in the preparation their own tax forms. Since taxpayers retain sole responsibility for
                     accuracy and completeness of their tax return, they must be walked through any
                     return prepared by a program volunteer. Taxpayers who don‟t e-file must sign and
                     mail their own tax form(s) using IRS-issued labels and their own envelopes.

Confidentiality      All volunteers must maintain strict confidentiality and security of all taxpayer
                     information and records at all times (See section on Confidentiality).

Identifying TCE-     Counselors must always mark the site‟s identification number (SIDN) in the
Prepared             preparer's box of 1040 series tax forms (paper or e-filing) or use forms overprinted
Returns              with a large “S” in the box. Counselors must not sign, initial, or identify themselves
                     on the tax form in any way.

800# Support at      IRS offers toll-free assistance to AARP Tax-Aide Counselors via 1-800-829-8482.
Sites
Retaining            Counselors must provide taxpayers with the original return if done manually or one
Records &            copy of the return to be e-filed. Counselors must not retain any taxpayer records or
Making Copies        returns, even temporarily, except for electronic filing purposes. Additional copies of
                     returns, except for one copy as previously noted for e-filing, can only be provided if
                     at no cost to the program. (See Confidentiality and Security Document section of
                     this LC Guide.)

Working At Site,     All tax assistance, except shut-ins and electronic filing transmission, must be
Not Home             performed at the site, not at volunteers‟ homes.

Tax Training         Counselors will assist taxpayers only on those topics that are within scope. Scope
Topics (Scope of     includes tax topics covered in IRS volunteer training materials or in AARP Tax-
Assistance)          Aide training classes provided that Counselors have been qualified under AARP
                     Tax-Aide procedures below. Counselors are not to deal with topics (including state
                     returns) on which they have not received AARP Tax-Aide training.

Policy and           Program policy and procedures training is conducted during all meetings with
Procedures           Coordinators, Instructors, Counselors, EROs, and Client Facilitators, etc. as well as
Training             informally throughout the year by supervising Coordinators. Meetings, correspondence,
                     email, the volunteer extranet, Cybertax, and technology bulletins are used to convey
                     new or revised procedures. To promote greater awareness of policy, grant requirements,
                     and administrative issues, training on these topics is required for all volunteers,
                     especially counselors. Items to be presented includes:
                           Program Scope


                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 44
                         Standards of Conduct
                         Required Quality Procedures (Intake/QR Form, 2nd Person QR, etc.)
                         Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data including how to report data
                            loss
                         How to and the Importance of Reporting Service (Activity Reporting/SIDNs)
                         Reimbursement Options and procedures
                         Insurance issues
                         All other Site and Counselor Guidelines and Policies not specifically
                            mentioned above in that similarly named section of the Counselor Digest
                         For District, Local and Site Coordinators, all Quality Site Requirements not
                            specifically mentioned above
                   Two presentations have been developed for use in conducting this training and are
                   available on the extranet at aarp.org/tavolunteers:
                         For all local and site coordinators – Quality Site Requirements
                         For all volunteers – AARP Tax-Aide Policy & Procedures Training

Returns That Are   For tax returns outside the scope of their training, Counselors must refer taxpayers to
Outside Training   paid tax preparers or to the IRS. Volunteers can and should decline to prepare a
or too Complex     return which the volunteer believes would misstate the taxpayer‟s liability or refer
                   service if the Counselor does not feel qualified on a particular issue(s). No specific
                   paid preparer or business can be named.

Recording          Counselors must record each interview or telephone call, performed during or after
Service            site service, on a Site Sign-in Sheet during or immediately following the assistance.

Submitting         Counselors should submit completed Site Sign-in Sheets to their supervisor as
Reports            instructed. A Shift Coordinator or lead Counselor at a site without a local
                   coordinator present will be assigned this responsibility.

Quality and        Second person/Counselor quality review of each tax return prepared is required.
Intake Forms       The program standard is to have that review completed by a second experienced
                   Counselor. When done correctly and consistently, quality reviews improve the return
                   accuracy and result in fewer rejects and more satisfied clients. All sites will be using
                   the new AARP combined Intake and Quality Review form. An AARP Tax-Aide
                   Intake and Quality Review form must be completed, preferably by the taxpayer, for
                   every taxpayer for whom a tax return is prepared. (AARP Tax-Aide Intake and
                   Quality Review form must be used, not IRS forms.) The form is sent home with the
                   taxpayer as part of the return package and is not kept by volunteers.

Diversity          Serve customers with courtesy and confidentiality, regardless of sex, race, religion,
                   national origin, creed, age, disabilities, or sexual orientation.

                Not Accepting Compensation & Potential Conflict of Interest
Not Accepting      Volunteers must not accept compensation for the performance of their duties.
Compensation       Compensation includes fees, gratuities, or other dispensations to volunteers or to
                   members of the volunteer's immediate family or household.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 45
Conflict of    Volunteers must not refer the preparation of any tax return to any specific paid
Interest       preparer business, including one in which they have a financial interest.
               Volunteers must never solicit any type of business from the taxpayers they assist or
               use the knowledge they have gained about the taxpayers for any direct or indirect
               benefit for themselves or any other individual(s). Volunteers working in AARP
               Tax-Aide, or any other AARP Foundation activity, which is similar in nature to
               outside employment or a commercial pursuit in which volunteers or members of a
               volunteer‟s family or household are involved, must advise their supervisor of the
               nature and extent of the involvement. In the case of an appearance of conflict,
               those supervisors of the volunteer(s) will consult with higher levels of supervision
               within the AARP Tax-Aide Organization about any potential conflict of interest.
               This consultation will include the Regional or State Coordinator.

Lobbying &     Volunteers, including AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, while representing the AARP
Promotional    Foundation or participating in an AARP Foundation activity, will not promote
Prohibitions   products, services, or political candidates or issues, nor make use of their
               relationship with AARP or the AARP Foundation for personal profit or the profit
               of any other individual(s). This includes, but is not limited to, membership drives.




                                LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 46
                      Confidentiality and Security of Taxpayer Data

Whether e-filing or not, protecting the confidentiality and security of taxpayer data has always been a priority
focus for this program and you the volunteers. In sharing their sensitive personal data with us, taxpayers have
put their trust in us and given us a major responsibility to protect that information. In today‟s age of stolen
identities, this focus is even more critical and urgent. Leaders must ensure that all volunteers understand these
responsibilities and abide by them.

There are many steps we can take to help ensure that we honor that trust and protect taxpayer information. This
section is intended to provide you with AARP Tax-Aide required and recommended security controls that will
help preserve the confidentiality and privacy of taxpayer data.

Data Security

1. All volunteers must sign the Standards of Conduct statement (IRS Form 13615), which is provided in the IRS
   test or as a separate form. That statement has three bullets addressing the protection of taxpayer data:
    I will safeguard the confidentiality of taxpayer information.
    I will exercise reasonable care in the use and protection of equipment and supplies.
    I will not solicit business from taxpayers I assist or use the knowledge I have gained about them for any
        direct or indirect benefit for me or any other specific individual.

   We have taken the step of clearly noting that the certification of a Counselor now has two significant and
   critical components. First, the Counselor must train and pass the IRS test. Second, all must agree to the
   Standards of Conduct and note that agreement by signing the statement. We take these statements very
   seriously and expect that you will as well.

2. Information provided for tax return preparation must not be shared with anyone who does not have a need to
   know. Individuals have the need to know if their involvement is required to accurately process the
   information to its final disposition. Examples of “need to know” would include, sharing information for the
   purpose of obtaining guidance in tax return completion, for electronic transmission, and/or for quality review
   of the finished tax return. In accordance with 18 USC 1905, which applies to Tax Counseling for the Elderly
   grantees including AARP, it is not acceptable to share information with others, even another volunteer, if
   their involvement in the tax return preparation is not required. For instance, sharing income information,
   birth dates, or even the marital status of taxpayers with other volunteers, taxpayers, family, or friends as a
   matter of curiosity or interest is not acceptable.

3. Do not send taxpayer data via regular e-mail. Taxpayer data can only be sent through TaxWise.

4. Forms 8879 with taxpayer‟s supporting W2s and 1099 documentation have a three-year retention
   requirement from the return due date or IRS received date, whichever is later. This information must be sent
   to the local IRS territory office by the end of April. Forms 8879, W2s, 1099, etc. must not be kept by AARP
   Tax-Aide volunteers beyond April 30th.

5. For numerous reasons, including taxpayer data security and confidentiality, all returns must be prepared in
   front of the taxpayer and all records given back to the taxpayer at the end of that assistance session.
   Required retention of some records for e-filing, such as W-2s and 1099s with federal tax withholding is
   allowed, but only until April 30th (see #4 above).

6. Appropriate steps to secure taxpayer data must be taken at all times. Any piece of equipment, computer
   (personally owned or site sponsor owned) and/or any external memory devices, such as a flash drive, on
   which taxpayer data resides must contain encryption software. Any taxpayer data must be in an encrypted


                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 47
   file. This applies to all computers, including personally owned and site-sponsor-owned computers. Slave
   computers on a server that never have the taxpayer information, or a computer running TaxWise™ from a
   removable device that is encrypted do not require encryption software. If all taxpayer data is removed by
   TPClear or an eraser program from a computer or flash drive prior to its leaving the tax site, the equipment
   no longer requires encryption software since no taxpayer data is present. However, please make sure that you
   backup all files and data on an encrypted removable storage media prior to running TPClear or an eraser
   program because all taxpayer files and settings are deleted by these programs. More information on the
   AARP Tax-Aide encryption software and the TPClear program can be found and on
   www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

7. By April 30th, taxpayer data must be deleted and purged from all computers, personal or loaned, no
   exception. For IRS loaned computers, use the wipe disk program loaded on the IRS loaned computers. For
   non-IRS equipment, use TPClear (if not provided by your site leadership it is available for download on
   www.aarp.org/tavolunteers).

8. During the season, the operating system of any computer containing taxpayer data must be password-
   protected. Additionally, for multiple security reasons, the TaxWise™ Admin account must be password-
   protected. If you have any questions about how to password-protect either, please see a volunteer leader at
   your site or go to www.aarp.org/tavolunteers and see the General Security document under Security &
   Confidentiality for additional guidance. Please do not share your passwords with non AARP Tax-Aide
   volunteers. If you must have a written password reminder, keep it away from the computer, carrying case, or
   anything tax related and in a location that is not visible to others (consider putting it in your wallet or
   billfold, which is usually always with us and take care to protect). Here are some general guidelines to be
   followed when setting up a password:
             Minimum length – eight (8) characters for Windows, TaxWise™ Admin account, and TrueCrypt.
             At least one letter and one number in the password.
             Choose a password that is not a dictionary word or someone‟s name.

9. Use the AARP Tax-Aide provided anti-virus and firewall software program to protect all AARP purchased
   and donated computers and contents from viruses and hackers. This software and license key should only
   be used on computers that are being used for AARP Tax-Aide business only; use on any other computer is
   prohibited. Update this software at least weekly. AVG Internet Security Suite 8.0 is the current version used
   by AARP Tax-Aide. The download link in AVG for our specific version can be found at
   http://www.grisoft.com/doc/Downloads under products. The license key needed to download the product is
   available from your supervisor or by emailing Taxaidetech@aarp.org for more information..

10. If a volunteer uses a personal computer during the season for tax preparation, AVG or other anti-virus and
    firewall software must be installed (see #9 above for additional details on AVG downloads and installation).
     If a volunteer is not using AVG on a personal computer and feels that the anti-virus and firewall software
    being used is secure and reliable, regular updates must be performed. (At the end season, the volunteer
    MUST run the TPClear program, to ensure that all taxpayer data has been removed from their computer.
    More information on the TPClear program can be found in „The Technology Management Guide‟ and on
    www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

11. If possible, any site that uses two or more computers should consider networking. In a networking
    environment only one computer contains taxpayers‟ data, requires TaxWiseTM updates and needs to be
    backed up but all connected computers have access to all returns. Only that one computer needs to be extra
    secured at all times when not being used. Personal computers should not be used as the Master computer,
    unless it is used only for the AARP Tax-Aide program during the season. Wireless networking of
    computers is being evaluated but is currently still prohibited by the AARP Tax-Aide program. More
    networking and configuration information is located on the AARP Tax-Aide extranet
    www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.


                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 48
12. Taxpayer data must not be stored on site owned computers. It is advisable to use TaxWise™ Online when
    using site owned computers. If that is not possible as the site owned computers do not have high speed
    Internet connections, run TaxWiseTM from an encrypted external drive (such as a flash drive). Information on
    how to encrypt removable storage media is located on www.aarp.org/tavolunteers in the Security and
    Confidentiality section.

13. States allowing the retention of e-file data for use the following season must allow the taxpayer to opt out of
    retention. If the taxpayer agrees to allow retention, his or her signature on the Authorization form is
    required. Only one person per state, determined by the SC, is allowed to retain the data. If you participate in
    the Data Retention program you must still delete the data from your computer at the end of the season.
    You must not retain your own copy of the data. It is to be backed up to a disk, flash drive, etc. AND
    transferred in the off season to the one person assigned the responsibility of maintaining that data in your
    state. The data should not be uploaded on computers any earlier than January, preferably late January. More
    information on the Data Retention can be found in the “The Technology Management Guide” and on the
    AARP Tax-Aide extranet at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

14. Securely remove all taxpayer information from hard drives before disposal of computers. TPClear or an
    Eraser program will remove the data. CAUTION: The current version of TPClear may not work properly on
    computers that have VISTA installed as the operating system. See more information on „Unusable
    Equipment Disposition‟ in the “Technology Management Guide” at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

15. Volunteers should act in a manner that promotes confidentiality for the taxpayer. This includes how they
    communicate questions and issues during their sessions with taxpayers. Conversations should be held
    discretely; personal taxpayer information should not be left out in areas to which others may gain access, and
    computer screen displays should be minimized or the application closed down if a Counselor needs to leave
    the work area during an individual tax assistance session. If you believe that the confidentiality of taxpayer
    data has been compromised due to any of these types of issues:

    Call 1-800-424-2277, ext 36021 or ext 36027 (during business hours), or 1-202-434-6021/6027 (after
     hours) immediately (within 24 hours).
    Inform your volunteer supervisor about the situation.


Physical Security

1. Sites must not be located in individual volunteers‟ homes, nor should volunteers prepare returns for friends
   or others at their or their friends‟ homes. Refer to the section on Site Selection for more guidance regarding
   sites and maintaining confidentiality.

2. Store computer equipment in a secure/locked location at a site, if left at a site. If you take the computers
   home, store them inside your home in a secure and safe place.

3. Any computers on which taxpayer data is stored, and that are left at sites must be stored and secured in the
   area at the site that is least accessible to non-volunteers. Computer cable locks are available through the
   National Office for Master computers that are left at sites where additional secured locked closets or cabinets
   are not available. If at all in doubt about the security of a master computer to be stored at a site, consider
   other options such as a volunteer taking it home to their residence where they know it will be secure with no
   inappropriate access. Computer cable locks can also be used to secure Master computers during site hours,
   where it is physically possible to use the cable lock. Email taxaidetech@aarp.org if you would like to
   request a cable lock.



                                       LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 49
4. Do not store computers in your car or leave computers unattended in a visible area of a car.

5. Before leaving your computer for a break, turning off your computer, or closing the lid on a laptop when
   working with taxpayer‟s data, you must exit TaxWiseTM (this applies to IRS, AARP Tax-Aide, and personal
   computers) and close the encryption software (AARP Tax-Aide computers). Closing the lid on a laptop may
   only put the computer in a state of "standby" or "hibernation", which means TaxWiseTM is still open and the
   data is vulnerable.

6. Sites should be set up in a manner that minimizes the likelihood that taxpayer data can be overheard, or seen
   on a computer screen or as a hard copy document by other customers.

7. Paper forms (W2s, 1099, 8879s, etc.) are very vulnerable for theft due to exposed social security numbers
   and other taxpayer data which is unable to be encrypted. Forms 8879 must be mailed only from locked and
   secure mailboxes. All forms and reports with taxpayer data must be safeguarded from being lost or stolen,
   particularly at sites. They should be stored in envelopes and folders out of view during site hours, and when
   the site is closed care should be taken to make sure they are locked away and secured.

Reporting a Loss

This covers computers, removable storage media (flash drive, floppy disk, CD,) and paper lost, stolen, or
damaged with taxpayer data residing on it.

Computers, removable storage media (external drive (such as a flash drive), floppy disk, CD,) and paper used for
tax preparation such as Form 8879, backups and data storage contain information that is private to the taxpayers
involved. Should these be lost or stolen with taxpayer data, it may be possible for others not only to obtain
access to private financial information but to use the data to illegally access bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
Quick intervention is extremely important to minimize problems for the taxpayer.

    1-800-424-2277, ext 36021 or ext 36027 (during business hours), or 1-202-434-6021/6027 (after hours),
     must be called immediately (within 24 hours) if ANY computer containing taxpayer data is lost or stolen.

    If the loss is the result of theft, call the local police to report the theft as soon as you realize what has
     happened.

    Inform your volunteer supervisor about the situation.




Computers lost, stolen, or damaged without taxpayer data residing on it:

Even with reasonable care and security, AARP or IRS equipment may be stolen or lost in fire, flood, or other
natural disasters. Should a loss of AARP or IRS equipment occur, the state‟s TCS must be notified. Please tell
your supervisor so he or she can get the information to the TCS. If your supervisor is unavailable, call 1-800-
424-2277 ext 36021 or 36027 (during business hours), or 1-202-434-6021/6027 (after hours), and AARP Tax-
Aide staff will make sure the appropriate notification is made.




                                        LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 50
                            Site Information, Lists & Guidelines
Site Lists &
Forms            Beginning this tax filing season, LCs and DCs will have two options to update site
                 information and site schedules; the existing manual option involving site forms and
(A New Process   lists and a newly introduced Site Management and Updating Web tool that will enable
  for Viewing,
                 direct entries and updates. LCs and DCs should follow the directions given by their
 Updating and
 Managing Site
                 SC regarding the use of this system.
 Information)
                 Existing manual option
                 Site lists and forms (or email containing comparable information) can still be 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 can then
                 input changes to the national database based on the information provided by the LCs
                 and DCs (or the ADS coordinates with the National Office to ensure that the
                 information is updated as necessary). The site forms referenced here are available for
                 ordering and are posted on the volunteer website at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

                 Site Management and Updating Web
                 This new tool is intended to streamline site management and information processes,
                 provide access to DC/LCs directly, while allowing ADS and SC oversight and quality
                 control. This optional new system will increase flexibility and accuracy. It provides:
                      24x7 “one stop” source for site management information
                      Site schedules for resources and leadership
                      Additional “links”
                      Insurance binder request
                      Activity reporting history
                      online training

                 The new Site Management and Updating Web tool will enable 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, AARP Tax-Aide site management, 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”.

                 This information is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection.
                 Administrative Specialists and State Coordinators also have access to this information
                 and will advise you if they wish to have you participate in the first year rollout of this
                 new system and, if so, how to access it.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 51
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 new Web tool or via the ADS‟ efforts to
                  update the national database. The National Office in turn notifies the IRS about
                  changes to site information via an automatic process in which the information in the
                  national database is transmitted to the IRS. 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 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 also to be used on all paper and e-filed
                  returns. It is recommended that the SIDN be treated as a permanent number and not
                  transferable to another site.

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

Closing or        If a site is permanently closed or a duplicate is discovered in the site list, coordinators
Deactivating a    should write “R” (Remove) in the space on the list or form for "Site Status." If a site is
Site              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     The space labeled "Contact Name" may be a person's name, or title such as receptionist
& Telephone       or appointment taker, or may be left blank. The space labeled "Contact Phone" is the
Numbers           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 changes
                  instantly should emergencies or people change at any time.




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 52
Site List     The Web-enabled tool is actually a window into the national database, VMIS. As such,
Submissions   the information reflected in tool will reflect 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 53
                                 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 taxing agencies (if
                  required).
Administrative/   Thumb-nail 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, all individual items are available for
Materials         ordering. There is a new AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form for material
                  available through AARP Tax-Aide. It is available on the volunteer extranet,
                  is included as a sample in this guide, and a copy will be sent with orders
                  mailed from the AARP warehouse. Additionally, PDF version 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 new 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 with links to assist in the ordering
                  process. This online form still needs to be emailed/faxed/mailed to the
                  fulfillment department.

                  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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 54
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
                  critical.

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.
                  New in 2008: 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 pdf.orders@linprod1.publish.no.irs.gov. 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.

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.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 55
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)
                Three 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 Intake and Quality Review Sheets (D18445) –
                        These sheets must be used with each taxpayer helped with a
                        return. The AARP Intake and Quality Review Sheet contains
                        required legal language regarding data retention and excludes
                        Social Security numbers. The IRS version does not stress the data
                        retention in the way required by our legal department and asks for
                        social security number. As a result, the IRS Intake Sheets are not
                        acceptable.
                    6. 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.
Personal ID     The National Office will send coordinators a supply of personal name and
Labels          address labels with their volunteer identification number to be used on their
                own expense statements and AARP Tax-Aide Order Forms sent to national
                office. A pre-addressed, postage-paid reorder card is included and can be
                used to order additional labels.
AARP Tax-Aide   The Policy Manual, handbooks, guides and digests, with the exception of the
Manuals,        Counselor Digest, will be automatically sent to volunteer leaders based on the
Digests and     positions they are assigned to within the national database. As a result,
Guides          leaders will not need to order these items. Counselor Digests should be
                ordered via the AARP Tax-Aide Program Order Form. In addition, all these
                booklets will be posted on the Volunteer extranet.


                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 56
Expense Reimbursement
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.

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.




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 57
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
Reimburse-        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)
                  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
                  guide.)

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


Itemized Reimbursement
Advance Approval     All itemized tax assistance expenses, regardless of the volunteer‟s position within the
Requirements         program, require advance approval as well as the after-the-fact approval signatures of
                     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 Use     Counselors who wish to itemize expenses will receive a blank expense form from
                     their supervisor at the end of the tax season. 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 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 58
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
Expenses Not         regularly scheduled sites, except in rare cases when the SC authorizes overnight
Reimbursed           stays. In these 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 Expenses      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 1/1/08
                     (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 (@ $.505                   $5.05
                     I             Multiple Anytown High school, 8 miles
                                               round trip
                                               (Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar 5, 12,              $40.40
                                               15, 19, April 2, 9)
                                               8 x 10 = 80 miles (@ $.505
                                               Total cost                                  $45.45




                                      LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 59
               EXAMPLE of incorrectly recorded mileage (using 01/01/2008 mileage rate):
                Activity          Activity & Location             Transportation Cost
                Code     Date     (including miles driven)
                I        Multiple Anytown (Feb, March, April)
                                  Total of 90 miles round trip
                                  (@ $.505)                              $45.45
                                  Total cost                             $45.45


               Note Regarding the Mileage Rate to be used: As of the printing of this manual
               (November 2008), the mileage rate in effect for the AARP Tax-Aide program is
               $0.585/mile. This mileage rate may be revised at the beginning of the calendar year
               for 2009. 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.
Other          To ensure that the program efficiently uses its limited financial resources, as well as
Non-           to 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 computer
                   software.
               4. Rental of overhead projectors, movie projectors or VCR's; 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.



                                LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 60
Miscellaneous    1. When mileage is excessive and air travel is approved by the SC, mileage,
Expense              parking, additional motel and meal expenses, as a result of travel by car, are
Clarifications       reimbursable 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
                     reimbursable.
                 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 available.
                 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 extranet.
                 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 $0.585 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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 61
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
              TCS.

           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”
           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. Items included
           on the consumables contract include: 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.




                             LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 62
Top Things that
Cause a Delay in
Processing an
Expense
Statement




                   1. Header information missing or not clear
                            a. Volunteer ID number, state/split, position code
                   2. Volunteer is not listed in the national database or they have no active
                       assignments in the national database. A volunteer must have an active
                       assignment in the national database to receive reimbursement.
                   3. Address listed is different from the address in the national database. The
                       √ helps with seasonal addresses, but does not help if the address listed is
                       completely different from any listed in the national database.
                   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
                       www.aarp.org/tavolunteers
                   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; supervisor ID number.
                   10. Using wrong titles/codes for assigned positions.
                   11. Extraordinary expenses requiring explanation, justification and/or
                       approval by SC or TCS.
                   12. Lack of documentation or receipts that clearly support the amount being
                       requested.


                               LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 63
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
               reimbursement.




                                  LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 64
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
Itemized
               When submitting expenses, they should sign the four copies of the form, retain one
Expenses
               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. 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.

Personal ID    Supervising coordinators receive a supply of personal ID labels. These are to be
Label          affixed over the name and ID section of two copies of their own expense statements.
                Coordinators are urged to use these labels to speed the identification and
               reimbursement process. If no label is available, enter the volunteer's ID number,
               name and address, and submit the expense statement.

Temporary &    If the reimbursement check is to be mailed to a temporary or seasonal residence,
Seasonal       apply the label in the upper left corner of the statement for verification. Write the
Addresses      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,
               VMIS.




                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 65
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
               Statement.



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                                  LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 66
                                          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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 67
Administrative Reports Summary
          TITLE            PREPARER                 LC ACTION REQUIRED                     ACTION
                                                                                             DUE
 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
                                           Specialist.
 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
 Labels                    National Office Coordinators affix to expense statements as required
                                           & other forms
 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.
                           Coordinators.




                                  LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 68
                      Self-Study Quiz on AARP Tax-Aide Operations
                 (Provided in Counselor Digest for volunteer completion & submission to LC.)
Questions 1 -10 are either true or false. Please circle T for true or F for false.
1. The AARP Foundation provides about one-half of program funding.                                    T   F
2. Expense receipts are required for the $35 counselor flat rate reimbursement.                       T   F
3. AARP Tax-Aide does not offer Internet tax assistance.                                              T   F
4. AARP Tax-Aide may help people under the age of 60.                                                 T   F
5. CyberTax is an easy, no obligation way to receive program updates via e-mail.                      T   F
6. Customers retain sole responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of their tax returns.       T   F
7. The AARP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) entity.                                                         T   F
8. I cannot complete returns for clients at home                                                      T   F
9. Volunteers may accept compensation, tips, etc. from clients for performance of their duties.       T   F
10. All tax returns must be deleted off all computers after the tax season, no later than April 30    T   F

Questions 11 – 15 are multiple choice. Please circle the correct answer for each.
11. Which volunteer position provides technical tax         a) Coordinators
    training to Counselors?                                 b) Instructors
                                                            c) Specialists
12. In the preparer‟s box of tax forms, Counselors should d) Their name
          enter:                                            e) Site identification number (SIDN)
                                                            f) Both of the above
13. AARP Tax-Aide Counselors must be certified:             g) Only when joining the program
                                                            h) Annually
                                                            i) Every three years
14. For tax returns or questions outside the scope of their j) Provide their best estimation
     training, Counselors should:                           k) Refer customers to an unnamed paid tax
                                                                preparers or the IRS
15. 1-888-AARPNOW is a toll-free way to:                    l) Locate sites during tax season
                                                            m) Volunteer for the program at anytime
                                                            n) Both of the above

Questions 16 - 19 are fill-in-the-blank.

16. What number do you call if a computer with taxpayer data is stolen? _________________

17. The four essential things that Counselors do are: __________________________,

________________________, ________________________, ________________________

18. What are the six pieces of information are collected for inclusion in Activity Reporting by the

    volunteers? __________________, ___________________________, ______________________,

    ____________________________, _________________________, _______________________.

19. Name three things, that a volunteer can control, that can delay the processing of volunteer

    reimbursements: ______________________, ___________________, ____________________.




                                           LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 69
          AARP TAX-AIDE SCO, COU, ERO, and CF SCHEDULING
                          INFORMATION
  (Provided in Counselor Digest for Counselor, ERO and Client Facilitator entry & submission to LC))

NAME ______________________________ ID# ______________ DATE _______________

ADDRESS       __________________________________________________________________

CITY/STATE/ZIP        ____________________________________________________________

PHONE NUMBER          __________________ EMAIL ADDRESS _______________________

NUMBER OF YEARS WITH AARP TAX-AIDE AND/OR IRS VITA _____________

                                        Schedule Preferences:
                      Morning               Afternoon               Evening
Monday                __________            __________              __________
Tuesday               __________            __________              __________
Wednesday             __________            __________              __________
Thursday              __________            __________              __________
Friday                __________            __________              __________
Saturday              __________            __________              __________

                                           Site Preferences:
Please indicate three choices for sites at which you would like to work, if known. Whenever possible you
will be assigned to a site near your home. Returning Counselors, ERO and Client Facilitators will usually be
given preference in assignments to sites.

Site #1 ______________       Site #2 _____________ Site #3 ________________

Please indicate whether you would accept any special assignments: (shut-in-visits, quality review, evenings
or weekends, substitute whenever and wherever needed). Also note any special proficiency which you have:
 (languages, etc.)
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________




                                     LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 70
LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 71
LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 72
LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 73
LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 74
LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 75
                                    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
  7.  Clearly list the site SIDN and the date(s) covered by the activity.
  8.  Fill in one line for each interview or assistance effort.
  9.  Enter the client‟s name each time an interview or assistance was provided to a taxpayer.
  10. 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.
  11. The counselor providing assistance and the quality reviewer should initial column 6 & 7 respectively.
  12. 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
  5. Completed Sign-in Sheets are collected and submitted as instructed by the supervising coordinator.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
     www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.
  8. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
     September.
For more information, contact your supervisor or visit the AARP Web extranet site at
www.aarp.org/tavolunteers/


                                   LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 76
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LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 78
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LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 81
LC Digest, 2008-2009 Season, Page 82
AARP TAX-AIDE VOLUNTEER INSTRUCTOR FORM

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) __________________________

ADDRESS___________________________________________________________________________________

CITY, STATE, ZIP ____________________________________________________________________________

TELEPHONE NUMBER _________________________                      E-MAIL:___________________________________

FAX:__________________________________________

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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 83
                                            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, 2008-2009 Season, Page 84
       AARP Tax-Aide Counselor Performance Review Form

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?       ___________________

ADDITIONAL EVALUATION CRITERIA (optional)

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.
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                     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
      Date:______________________________

     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
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
   attained)




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_____
                  ___Instructor

                               Thank you for your contribution!
                                  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 AARP Tax-Aide Intake/QR Form to complete (do NOT use the IRS form).
   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,
    etc.
   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
   Be sure to note authorization, if given, to retain data for next season
   Hand off TP, and documents to quality reviewer
                        Step Three - Quality Review (by an experienced e-file Counselor)
   Review TP‟s AARP Tax-Aide Intake and Quality Review 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.)
D16265 (1108)

								
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