RMASFAA Conference Link & Learn More About Taxes October 21, 2008
Topics of Discussion • Who are we and why are we here? • Challenges faced by Financial Aid Administrators • Recommendations/Resources to overcome challenges
Who Are We? • Wage & Investment Division – Outreach & Education • Customers - Wage earners and/or investment income • Leveraged approach to taxpayer assistance • Partner with organizations sharing a commitment to provide education, benefits and services to underserved communities.
Who Are We? Community based partnership model: • Tax awareness and education • Free tax preparation assistance • Financial literacy and asset building Awareness and Education Tax Preparation AssetBuilding
Why are we here? • Address challenges faced during FAFSA verification process • Outline potential resources to overcome challenges
Challenges • Do I have the training necessary? • Is my interpretation of the tax law correct? (i.e. Am I reading this right?) • What documents should be requested? • Where do I go for information?
Link & Learn Link and Learn Taxes is an e-learning course designed specifically for VITA/TCE volunteers. It provides uniform training and a consistent quality message to each volunteer.
Link & Learn Taxes and Your Organization • IRS e-learning course • Training and certification when and where you want it
Link & Learn Taxes … • Will deliver a uniform level of instruction • Save on facility costs • Requires no instructor • Certifies your volunteers online • Is available 24/7
Advanced Pension and advanced tax concerns Military Active members and Reserve Basic Common individual and family tax concerns Intermediate Other forms of income and deduction International Taxpayers living outside the U.S. Foreign Student Assist foreign students and scholars. Puerto Rico Bona fide residents of PR. Returning Student Tax laws that take effect this year A Training Course for Every Volunteer
Getting to Link & Learn Taxes: Go to www.irs.gov, type “Link & Learn” in the keyword field and click Search, then click on the “Link & Learn Taxes” link. Or you may be able to link directly using www.irs.gov/app/vita/index.jsp Either way you'll find a detailed overview and links to the program.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) • Originated with Tax Reform Act of 1969 • Increased emphasis on Taxpayer Education Programs • Offers free tax help to low to moderate income individuals • VITA volunteers prepare basic returns: • Low income taxpayers • Persons with disabilities • Limited English speaking persons • Elderly taxpayers
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) • Set up a site within your school. • Train selected volunteer students/staff • Process tax forms for the community and students as well as assist with the preparation of FAFSA forms.
What do you have to do? • Program is flexible! • Your school decides: What types of returns you will process. – 1040EZ – 1040A – 1040 and related schedules
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance The school determines the schedule • Weekdays • Weekends • Super Saturdays • During high-traffic periods—February and April
Examples of Successful Free Tax & FAFSA Form Preparation Strategies • Milwaukee, WI- VITA clients had FAFSA and tax returns prepared • Uvalde, TX – Held a FAFSA event to assist parents with tax return and electronic preparation of FAFSA • Oakland, CA – VITA clients had FAFSA and tax returns prepared
Resources • www.irs.gov • www.irs.gov/taxlaw • IRS Tax Help-800-829-1040 • IRS Forms & Publications – 800-829-3676 • Publication 17- Your Federal Income Tax • Publication 4012 – Volunteer Resource Guide
Contact information Robin Taylor, Senior Tax Analyst Robin.email@example.com (404) 338-7174