The Orange County Register put out an article last (click here) week highlighting the United Way of Orange County’s need for volunteers for the upcoming tax season in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, known as VITA. More information can be found at the United Way’s website (click here). According to the OC Register article, they are especially in need of Spanish bilingual volunteers.
VITA provides its own training and, according to the website, does not require experience. The training runs through January 30, 2017. The VITA program provides free tax preparation to needy individuals and families from January 16 through April 18, 2017.
For those who are looking to gauge their interest in a potential tax career or who are at the start of their career this volunteer experience and training can be valuable, and it can also look nice on a resume because it shows that you give back. During my time as an attorney in the IRS, I would participate in the hiring and recruiting process for externs and for new attorneys. Although VITA was not high-level work, I always looked favorably on applicants with VITA experience on their resumes because it showed tax interest and volunteerism. For those looking to enter private practice at some point, working directly with clients and learning how to listen to and communicate to clients is a valuable skill that can be acquired through volunteering. For new IRS trial attorneys, working directly with taxpayers to resolve their issues is a significant part of the job and VITA experience could help with that as well.
Daniel W. Layton, Esq., is a former IRS attorney and former Federal prosecutor. He is the principal of Tax Attorney OC.