Enhancing the health, education, and social well-being of low-income and underserved people in the greater Houston metropolitan area through its many health care programs, training programs and community service programs, including the provision of safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income families.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program 2017

History of VITA:

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program originated from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 1969 as a result of an increased emphasis on taxpayer education programs due to the Tax Reform Act of 1969.

In 1970, its first year of operation nationwide, 104,000 taxpayers were assisted by approximately 7,500 volunteers. In 1994, nearly 1.6 million taxpayers were assisted by 51,091 volunteers at 8,626 sites. In 2001, over 2 million taxpayers were assisted by 44,203 volunteers at 8,564 sites. This increase is a result of the tremendous support of the program by volunteers. In Houston, over 6,000 taxpayers are assisted by over 600 volunteers at 40 sites. VN TeamWork (VNTW) has collaborated with the VITA program since 1996. Each year, over 90 VNTW volunteers at multiple sites assist over 2,000 taxpayers.

VNTW Collaborates with the IRS and VITA:

The Vietnamese-American community takes great pride in the accomplishments that we have made over the last three decades. However, we take even greater pride in the fact that we have always strived to give back to our society and encouraged others to take an active role in the social fabric of our adopted homeland. Toward that goal, for the 21st straight year, VNTW collaborates with the IRS to participate in the VITA Program to assist low-income, elderly, physically challenged, and non-English speaking taxpayers in filing their federal income tax returns free of charge.

Phase 1: Training

Refresher Course: Returning volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 8 hours of classroom instruction to learn the new tax laws. The training date for returning volunteers is on December 17, 2016 (8 am – 12:30 pm @ VN TeamWork Center). Returning volunteers must certify to the Basic certification level, at a minimum.  The deadline to submit the IRS Link & Learn Certificate is January 2, 2017. If a volunteer passes the IRS Link & Learn test at the advanced level, he or she will not be required to take the electronic file (e-File) test. For those who pass the test at basic level, they will also need to take the electronic filing (eFile) test provided by VN TeamWork in order to meet the training requirements. The deadline for the eFile test is January 12, 2017.

Basic Course: New volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction to learn the new tax laws and electronic filing (eFile). The first training, focusing on tax laws, will be on January 7, 2017. In depth training and case solving will be on January 14 and 15, 2017. New volunteers must take and pass the test in the classroom on January 21, 2017. The passing score is 80.

All basic training sessions will be from 8 am to 5 pm, at:

VN TeamWork Center (11210 Bellaire Blvd. Suite 118)

 

Site Kick-Off Party:

All volunteers are required to participate in the mandatory Site Kick-Off Party. The party is on January 29, 2017 (10 am – 1 pm @ Golden Bamboo Village III, 6628 Synott Rd. Houston, TX 77083). If the volunteer cannot attend on this date, he or she is required to complete extra 10 hours at the site.

Phase 2: On-Site Volunteering:

All certified volunteers MUST have at least 30 hours of practice experience at their sites prior to certification as a volunteer of the VNTW-VITA program.

From February 2016 to April 2016, certified volunteers will assist taxpayers in efiling at the following sites (subject to change):

VN TEAMWORK CENTER / TRUNG TÂM HIỆP LỰC (Southwest)

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. Monday – Saturday

11210 Bellaire Blvd., Suite 118 @ Boone Rd.

Houston, TX 77072

PARKER WILLIAMS LIBRARY / THƯ VIỆN PARKER WILLIAMS (Southeast)

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays

10851 Scarsdale Blvd. @ Scarsdale Plaza

Houston, TX 77089

MY HOA FOOD MARKET / CHỢ MỸ HOA (Southwest)

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays

13201 Bellaire Blvd.

Houston, TX 77083

VIETNAM TEMPLE / CHÙA VIỆT NAM (Southwest)

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Sundays

10002 Synott Rd.

Sugar Land, TX 77478

GOLDEN BAMBOO VILLAGE II / LÀNG TRE II (Northwest)

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Sundays (first 5 weekends, until March 5, 2017)

8125 Mills Rd.

Houston, TX 77064

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon:

The Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is on April 30, 2017. Each certified volunteer will receive a Recognition Certificate on that date, if he or she attends all the training classes, passes the test, and completes the required service hours. New volunteers will receive the refund of their deposits, if they meet all the requirements.

This opportunity is offered to anyone, who is 18 years of age and older, can read and understand English, and has computer literacy.

Registration for VN Teamwork’s VITA 2017 program has ended. Please check back here in October 2017 for next year’s program. Thank you.