Volunteer

We are recruiting volunteers for VITA! 

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is one of The Unity Council’s largest programs, serving over 700 individuals and families each year by providing free income tax return services. The VITA program offers tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their tax returns. VITA is a national program, supported by the IRS and community partners such as United Way.  Because VITA alleviates the cost burden of tax preparation to families and emphasizes the Earned Income Tax Credit, it is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the nation. 

VITA is comprised of volunteers who generously donate their time to sustain the program. You don’t have to be a tax expert to help! Consider volunteering at our VITA site for the upcoming tax season in one of the following roles:

All volunteers are REQUIRED to complete the IRS Standard of Conduct certificate. This certificate is available online and completely free. 

Reception Greeter
During the Tax season, The Unity Council Career Center is still open for regular career and financial services. The reception greeter will be tasked with checking in the clients arriving for their tax session. This helps make sure that those clients who are arriving to use the Career Center services can speak with the Front Desk administrator. The reception greeter is responsible for signing in clients, checking their appointments, and keeping a well-organized reception area. Waiting to see a tax specialist can be stressful. The Reception Greeter will be available for clients to ask questions about their place in line and their wait time.  We ask that volunteers in this role be available for a minimum of 2 hour shifts. In addition to greeting, there is the optional opportunity to become certified to conduct the intake. This process helps us expedite the wait time for clients and learn more about the clients’ needs.

Social Media Specialist
                The VITA program at The Unity Council is a long standing program that seeks to help as many individuals and families as possible complete their taxes each year. One of the ways we can reach a new client base is through social media. The Social Media Specialist will work with clients once they have finished filing their taxes to complete a social media post about their experience with VITA to share on The Unity Council’s social media pages. All materials will be provided to the volunteer. Volunteers with interest in communications, a passion for storytelling, and experience with social media should consider this position. We ask that volunteers in this role be available for 2 hour shifts.

Tax preparer *
If you have volunteered with VITA in the past, or are a tax professional looking to donate your time and expertise, please consider volunteering with The Unity Council’s VITA site. This a great opportunity to learn more about accounting, finance, and public policy, and to see how those skills directly improve the lives of others. We will arrange the 1-day training and certification process, simply contact the VITA Site Coordinator to get started: 510-535-5028.

*Tax preparers are REQUIRED to be certified in Advanced Tax Preparation via IRS Link and Learn for the 2016 Tax Year. Certification is free, but requires an understanding of tax code.