Volunteers needed to help families file taxes

It's that time of year again. W-2's are arriving in the mail and before you know it April will be here. Get a jump start on taxes this year.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare free income tax returns for working class individuals and families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

  • Provide assistance to low-income individuals and families
  • Help families qualify to receive thousands of dollars in tax credits
  • Learn how to file your own taxes
A Free VITA Volunteer Training will take place at Oakland City Hall on Sat. Jan. 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Topics include: Orientation to the VITA Program, Intro to Basic Tax Law, How to Become an IRS-Certified VITA Volunteer Income Tax Preparer and Volunteer Placement.

"The training session will provide you with an orientation to the Controller’s VITA program, an intro to basic tax law and the software used to prepare VITA tax returns," according to Tina Hossain in the Office of State Controller John Chiang. Volunteers will also receive "information on the IRS certification exam you need to pass to be an IRS-certified VITA Volunteer Income Tax Preparer."

No previous experience is needed. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the training is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 4 located at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.

Space is limited and RSVP is required by Friday, January 21. To RSVP, please call (213) 833-6032 or email vita@sco.ca.gov and provide the following information: 1) Name 2) Title 3)Organization 4) Phone Number 5) Email Address 6) Mailing Address. Volunteers must indicate they are registering for the Oakland session.

For questions or additional information about the Oakland VITA training session call (213) 833-6032. More information about the VITA program, visit the IRS' website.

Income taxes are normally due April 15, but in 2011 they must be filed by April 18 (due to a holiday). The Oakland program is being sponsored by State Controller John Chiang, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan.

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