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Final Tax Counselor Volunteer Trainings Set

United Way of Hancock County and Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) will be conducting two final training sessions for individuals who would like to volunteer to become tax counselors and complete tax returns for free for low- to moderate-income families in Hancock County. The first training is a two part session, on Thursday, January 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Friday, January 17 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. This training will be held at Owens Community College, 3200 Bright Road. To register go to

The second training opportunity will be on Saturday, January 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brown Mackie College, 1700 Fostoria Avenue. To register for this training go to

The training will be conducted by representatives from OBB. All trainees must be 18 or over, have keyboard experience and an email account. Through the Center for Financial Certifications, attendees can earn six credit hours of continuing education. Registration is required to attend the training. 

Attendees will be trained on how to: interview clients, explain the tax filing process, create a client log-in account, verify client identification, navigate simple software and more. Volunteers must be 18 or older. No tax preparation or accounting experience is necessary. The training is required in order to volunteer for the OBB tax preparation clinics that will be scheduled between January 1 and April 15.

Each year, since 2008, residents of Hancock County with low- to moderate-income have been able to participate in free tax preparation clinics. The purpose of the free tax clinics is to assist families in paying for tax preparation and to see if the individual or family qualifies for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Last year, through OBB and the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), volunteer tax preparers completed 1,783 tax forms. The effort resulted in approximately $170,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit funds returned to the community.

For more information, contact Beverly Phillips, community services director at United Way of Hancock County at or call 419-423-1432.