Every year, hundreds of low income families come to LUM to get their taxes done. We all know how scary tax time can be, but here at LUM it’s often a time of joy. Families who struggle every day just to get by, come here to learn they’re going to get a refund that will place badly needed money back in their pockets. And you can be a part of making that happen!
The average family that uses the LUM Tax Assistance Program earns a little more than $20,000 a year. They cannot afford to pay a professional to do their taxes, and many lack the confidence, experience, or ability to complete the returns on their own.
Being a volunteer tax preparer at LUM can be an incredibly rewarding experience.Since, it is a small program, our volunteers have the chance to get to know their clients, and to feel the very personal and immediate reward that comes with realizing they have truly helped someone. At the same time, our volunteers have a lot of fun. Volunteers and staff get to know each other, socialize together between client visits, and help each other solve problems as they arise.
While a few of our volunteers are tax professionals, looking for a way to use their skills to help those in need, others just love the mental challenge of completing a tax return, and still others come to us with no background in math or taxes whatsoever. There have even been volunteers who started off terrified of numbers, only to discover that taxes weren’t that scary after all.
Tax tax clinics are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., beginning in February and going through early April. You can sign up for as many or as few clinics as you’d like.
All volunteers need to complete an IRS tax certification. This can seem intimidating at first glance, but don’t worry! There will be Saturday prep classes in December and January to help you get ready. And once you’re certified you can spend a clinic or two shadowing a more experienced volunteer before taking your first client. And if you run into problems you don’t understand, there’s always someone there to help!
Anyone can learn to do this, regardless of background or experience. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a volunteer tax preparer, please email program director, Josh Prokopy at firstname.lastname@example.org.