volunteer-tax-aidWe blogged about this last year here on the CPA Exam Preparation Blog, but we've decided that it is important enough to repeat (and you probably forgot).

Tax-Aid is looking for volunteers.

Founded in 1988 by a coalition of accountants and lawyers, Tax-Aid, a 501(c)3 non-profit, has served thousands in the Bay Area with an emphasis on increasing access to the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Its mission is to provide free income tax preparation to low-income families throughout the Bay Area.

In 2009 Tax-Aid prepared 4,020 returns. These taxpayers received over $4,090,069, with some refunds even over $4,500! That is huge considering San Francisco is the second most expensive city in the country!

Tax-Aid coordinated 72 free tax preparation programs. In 2009 the combined campaigns served over 19,000 clients helping them to receive more than $19,800,000 in federal and state refunds.

Tax-Aid also serves as the lead agency for the United Way of the Bay Area's "Earn It! Keep It! Save It!" campaigns in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, promoting financial literacy and stability for working families.

Tax-Aid's more than 1,000 volunteers come from all types of organizations and professional backgrounds. Plus, even though tax expertise is always in demand, there are other jobs you can volunteer for that do not require any technical knowledge. Volunteers are asked to attend a two-hour training session on Tax-Aid's process, and also need to volunteer for at least one session. Most Tax-Aid volunteers donate around eight hours over a few weeks - just a little bit of your time goes a long way toward helping others.

If you would be interested in participating (accounting and law students are encouraged to volunteer), contact the program directly us-tax-aid@kpmg.com

So offer up a lending hand and do a good deed. Not only can you gain tax experience, but you are sure to increase your positive karma too. And, if you don't live in or around the bay, look up a place to use your talents in your area. Similar programs exist everywhere, and most are consistently accepting volunteers.

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