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The COVID-19 pandemic placed great strains on Wisconsin's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs over the past two tax seasons.

These programs, offering free tax preparation services to qualifying Wisconsin taxpayers, are experiencing a critical need for new volunteers as sites statewide prepare for the 2022 tax season.

"The VITA and TCE programs exist because of the continued service and dedication of volunteers," said Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca. "These are volunteer-driven programs and the need for new volunteers has never been greater."

Anyone can volunteer

There is need for help in several positions, including reception greeters, document intake and income tax preparation. Accounting or finance experience is not necessary to volunteer. Those helping clients with tax preparation services will receive formal training, making this a good opportunity to learn about federal and state tax laws, and the preparation process while serving the communities where they live and work.

Flexible schedules

Working hours are flexible, allowing anyone from busy students and retirees to those working full-time jobs to give time to this worthwhile program. Most volunteers find convenience in working at tax preparation sites within a few miles of their homes.

How to apply

Anyone interested in giving their time to either of these programs during the tax season from January through April 2022 should, before November 15, 2021,

Volunteers with the VITA and TCE programs annually prepare nearly 75,000 tax returns at about 200 locations statewide. The VITA program is a cooperative effort by the IRS and many individual states, including Wisconsin. Volunteers trained by the IRS and DOR prepare basic income tax returns for free. The TCE program is supported by AARP. The AARP's Tax-Aide volunteers train in cooperation with the IRS and DOR to prepare basic income tax returns for free during tax season. Most of these sites offer free electronic filing.

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