Taxpayer Advocate urges Oregonians to Volunteer at Tax Clinics

Posted on October 27, 2022

Oregon Dept. of Revenue – 10/27/22 8:56 AM

Salem, OR—The Internal Revenue Service is once again recruiting people to assist in the free preparation of taxes as part of its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, and the Department of Revenue’s Taxpayer Advocate is encouraging Oregonians to volunteer.

“Oregon needs more VITA sites and volunteers,” said Codi Trudell, who was named as Oregon’s first Taxpayer Advocate in January. “There are significant tax credit benefits available to low-income individuals and families, but they need to file a tax return to claim the benefit. By volunteering to help fill out and file those returns, Oregonians can make a difference in their communities.”

Trudell said that in addition to the need for volunteers, the IRS is also seeking organizations to sponsor VITA and TCE clinics to be staffed by the volunteers.

In the 2021 tax season, there were VITA and/or TCE clinics in 15 different Oregon counties—up and down the coast, in the Willamette valley, and both central and eastern Oregon. In the 2022 tax season, nearly 22,000 Oregon income tax returns were filed on behalf of taxpayers by volunteers at VITA clinics across the state.

The VITA and TCE programs include training in how to provide free tax help for low-to-moderate income families who need assistance preparing their tax returns. Across the country, thousands of people volunteer each year and prepare millions of tax returns at thousands of tax sites nationwide.

Volunteers are assigned to work with a sponsoring organization, first to receive training and then to begin volunteering at a location in the community. Training is offered both online and in the classroom. Tax sites are generally open nights and weekends, and the hours are flexible.

Additional information is available on the IRS website. Interested persons can submit an inquiry now using the VITA/TCE Volunteer and Partner Sign Up moving them one step closer to becoming a VITA or TCE tax volunteer and giving back to their community. The IRS will share information about those interested in volunteering with sponsoring organizations for follow-up contact.

Organizations with an interest in partnering with the IRS to sponsor or host a free tax preparation site in Oregon can also complete and submit the VITA/TCE Volunteer and Partner Sign Up.

To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. You also can call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.

Video clip
See Oregon Taxpayer Advocate Codi Trudell explain the need for VITA volunteers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODYeWDWGmtQ

Media inquiries
To schedule an interview, in either English or Spanish, with the Taxpayer Advocate Office to discuss the need for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance in Oregon, contact Public Information Officer Robin Maxey via email at obin.maxey@oregon.gov?subject=RE:%20″>robin.maxey@oregon.gov or call 971-718-4483.

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