United Way of Hancock County and Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) will be conducting training 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 training will be held on Thursday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, December 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The training sessions will be held at United Way of Hancock County, 245 Stanford Pkwy.
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. To register for the training on November 21, go to http://novfindlaytaxes.whindo.com . To register for the training on December 9, go to http://decfindlaytaxes.whindo.com .
“This volunteer opportunity is a wonderful way to directly help our community members put money in their pocket,” said Beverly Phillips, community services director of United Way of Hancock County. “Each year, we have people who didn’t know that they qualify for certain deductions and we are able to find those options for them. We are also saving them the cost of filing their returns. This is all money that is saved by the family and can be spent in Hancock County. And, this is a great way to add new skills to your resume.”
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.