AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM

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					                                                4491-01 Course Introduction v1.0 VO.ppt




             AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM


                Welcome & Introductions


                                                        LEVEL 2 TOPIC
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INTRODUCTIONS
 Name
 Employment (previous, if retired)
 Why in Tax-Aide Program?
 How long? What position in program?




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BASICS
 Class schedule – guideline only
 Breaks
 Restrooms
 Parking




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EXPECTATIONS FOR
INSTRUCTORS
 Provide atmosphere for learning
 Start and stop on time
 Provide breaks as needed
 Answer questions
   (will keep a list to answer later if needed)




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EXPECTATIONS FOR COUNSELORS
 Follow directions (don’t jump ahead)
 Be positive (not disruptive) in a learning
  environment
 Ask questions
 Complete assignments
 Hand in test by mid-January



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Purpose Of This Training
 To build an excellent understanding of:
    The AARP Tax-Aide program
    Your resources (references, help, how to find
     answers, Can Do list, etc.)
    How to apply federal and NJ tax law
    How to prepare accurate tax returns
    IRS provided software and e-filing
    The Quality Review Process
    Training, Certification, and Proficiency process

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AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM
 Nationwide non-profit program administered
  by AARP Foundation
 Help low-to-mid income taxpayers with special
  attention to age 60+
            No age or income restrictions
            AARP membership not relevant for volunteers or
             clients
 Free confidential service
 Committed to high-quality service
 Answer tax questions/prepare returns
 Funding from AARP and IRS
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PERFORMANCE
 1.5 million returns (paper + e-file accepted)
 1.43 million accepted e-files (95.2% rate)
 $233 million in EIC refunds
 76% taxpayers are 60 or older
 Nearly 6,500 sites
 Over 32,500 volunteers



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NEW JERSEY STATISTICS (TY2009)
 175 Sites (almost all e-filing sites)
 940 Volunteers
    787 Certified counselors

 30,390 Federal returns
    91% Current Year Federal returns e-filed

 5,618 State only returns
 $2,286,000+ EIC refunds
 108,000+ People helped
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<District> STATISTICS (TY2009)
 ?? Sites (?? e-filing sites)
 ?? Volunteers
    ?? Certified counselors

 ?? Federal returns
    ??% Current Year Federal returns e-filed

 ?? State only returns
 $?? EIC refunds
 ?? People helped
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VOLUNTEER RESPONSIBILITIES
 Sign Volunteer Agreement (Volunteer
  Standards); instructors certifies at bottom
 Need proof of certification at site
        Site coordinator maintains list
        Volunteer Agreement with certification or
        Form 13645, Wallet Card

 Understand return is TP’s responsibility


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RESPONSIBILITIES, cont’d
 Protect confidentiality and security
 Use resources, CyberTax, 800-TAX-VITA
 Do not retain any data other than required
     8879s, 8453s and attachments
            Including TP documents and/or electronic
             versions
 Do not accept any compensation
 Record ALL activity at site every shift

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SITE REQUIREMENTS
 Post anti-discrimination poster (AARP
  D143)
 Store equipment in secure environment
 Keep eyes on laptops and forms at sites
 Call DC, police and AARP number on back
  of volunteer badge if computer stolen
 Exit TaxWise® and encryption if neither you
  nor another counselor will be in area
 Never post passwords on/near computer
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Quality Review
 100% independent quality review
    This means a second set of (counselor) eyes
    This means no single counselor Sites
    Site Coordinator has responsibility for
     implementation
 IRS & AARP SMT will perform reviews on
     sample basis:
            Site Review
            Tax Return Review
 Use QR section of IRS Intake Sheet

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REIMBURSEMENT
 Flat-rate reimbursement of $35 or
 Parking/mileage (50¢/mi for 2010)
    Need specific dates/locations
    Need purpose

 Covers training classes
 Covers counseling, January to April 20
 Expense report submitted to LC or DC at
     end of season
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INSURANCE COVERAGE
 Travel accident insurance coverage if on
  Tax-Aide business
 Medical Only
            Not Car, Personal property, etc.
 Supplemental secondary only
    Your existing medical insurance is primary

 Notify District Coordinator ASAP


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VOLUNTEER PROTECTION ACT
OF 1997
 Certified volunteers not liable if:
    Received IRS/AARP training
    Harm not willful
    Acting within scope of training
    Following AARP policies and procedures




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CERTIFICATION
 Four-part certification for counselors
    Pass Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Test
     (score 80% on each)‫‏‬
    Show competency in use of TaxWise software
     (complete four problems in class)‫‏‬
 No certification needed for non-counselors
     (phone, reception, translators, etc.)



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Training Resources
 District Provided
    Instructor-Lead Classes
    Coaches / Mentors
    Walk-in Workshops
 IRS Link & Learn
 NJTaxAide.org/tavolunteers
    Training page – including Standard Presentations (with Voice-
      Over Narration)
 IRS Books
    Pub 4491 – Training Guide
    Pub 4491-W – Problems and Exercises
    Pub 4012 – Volunteer Resource Guide
    Form 6744 – Volunteer Assistor’s Test/Retest
    Basic + Intermediate + Advanced levels
                IGNORE Military, International, etc.

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LINK & LEARN
 On-line federal tax law training on IRS web site -
     includes exercises (www.irs.gov/app/vita)
            Click on Advanced tab to begin.
                 Basic and Intermediate courses are a subset of the Advanced
                  course
                 Ignore Military, International, Puerto Rico, Foreign Student
                  courses
                 Abbreviated “What’s New” course for returning volunteers
            Does NOT include New Jersey tax law
 Practice Lab – special online version of TaxWise
    TWO/Training STRONGLY preferred
 Online Certification Tests (linklearn.webtechteam.com)
    ?? New volunteers must use Form 6744 test.



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LINK & LEARN SPECIAL
CERTIFICATION
 Two OPTIONAL subjects require on-line
     training and certification
        Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
        Cancellation of Debt (COD)



 On-line Advanced certification is required
     before taking the HSA and COD online
     training and tests

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LINK & LEARN VIEW




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Counselor Certification
Requirements
 STEP 1 – Pass the IRS test with 80% for each
  segment (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced).
 STEP 2 - Proficiency
            Three scenarios (Moore, Fleming, Sterling) from
             Pub 4491-W (federal only)
            Plus one NJ complete return (Jones)
            Must be completed and reviewed by second
             Counselor
 STEP 3 – Sign the Volunteer Standards of
  Conduct
 Note: Must use 2010 Law and Software

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Preparer Resources
 IRS Documents
    Publication 4012 – Volunteer Resource Guide (VRG)
    Publication 17 – Your Federal Income Tax (later)
    Form 1040 Instructions (later)
    … plus many other specialized IRS documents
 GIT Booklets – State of NJ
 New Jersey “Can Do” List
 Interview and Intake Sheet
 TaxWise Help
 NJTaxAide.org/tavolunters – Preparer Page
 Special Topic Guides
 And best of all… Your Site Coordinator and fellow
     volunteers!
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