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AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. 2011-2012 For All AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Sites Local Coordinator (Site Coordinator) Quality Site Requirements Training. Purpose of this document.

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AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

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Aarp foundation tax aide l.jpg

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

2011-2012

For All AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Sites

Local Coordinator (Site Coordinator)

Quality Site Requirements Training

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Purpose of this document

  • To provide District Coordinators (DCs) with a useful and easy tool to acquaint or remind Local Coordinators (LCs) of AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site requirements

  • These site requirements are designed to:

    • Maximize number of accurate returns prepared,

    • Ensure a quality and confidential experience for the taxpayer, and

    • Ensure site compliance with program policy and IRS grant requirements for “Site Coordinator Training”

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Introduction

  • Your leadership is vital to the success of your site operation and the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program

  • Thank you for your commitment to such an important role

  • We hope you find this information useful in helping you plan, organize and manage your site

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Site Checklist

  • Secure Equipment and Tax Data

  • Post required notices and have required AARP Foundation Tax-Aide & IRS Materials

  • Certify all Counselors

  • Interview/Intake process for every Taxpayer

  • 100% Quality Review by 2nd Counselor

  • Have process for tracking all e-files through acceptance

  • Accurately Report Activity

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Secure Equipment and Tax DataMore info in Confidentiality and Security document in Client Service Provider Digest and Extranet

Store equipment in a secure location

Keep laptops and forms in a secure environment during site operations

Immediately call police and number on back of volunteer badge if a computer is stolen

Require encryption, passwords, and antivirus and firewall software on all computers with Taxpayer data

Consider running TaxWise® with encrypted software on a flash drive instead of from a hard drive especially on personal computers

Flash drives with encrypted software must be used on site-sponsored-owned computers

Exit TaxWise® and encryption if you step away

Never post passwords on or near computer

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Post Required Notices and have required AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Materials

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Poster (D143)

Site sign-in sheets

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Tax Record Envelopes (D12225-English & D17464 Spanish)

(All of the above can be ordered from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Fulfillment)

Cybertax messages identified as “IRS Volunteer Quality Alerts”

LCs should read and have a copy of the current AARP Foundation Tax-Aide LC and Client Service Provider Digest (formerly the Counselor Digest) available (The LC Digest will be emailed to LCs and the Client Service Provider Digest will be available for ordering.)

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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IRS Required Site Materials

IRS Pub. 17

IRS Pub. 4012

IRS 1040 Instructions

IRS Intake/Interview and Quality Review Sheet for every return prepared (IRS 13614-C)

For e-filing sites - IRS Pub. 3189-E-file Handbook and all documents of the above can be electronic and on the computer.

(Do NOT order Pub 760, IRS Envelope; Pub 1084 IRS Site Coordinator Handbook; and Title VI, IRS Poster)

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Certify All Volunteers

  • Complete Certification Process for all volunteers – Counselors and non-Counselors (outlined in the LC Digest)

  • Complete Standards of Conduct training and test and sign agreement form 13615

    (All AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers must sign)

  • All volunteers must be trained in program policies and procedures

    • “AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program Policies and Procedures” developed to cover needed material is available on the Extranet

    • Invite non-counselors to that session of the Counselor training

  • List of certified volunteers must be provided to ADS for updating the AARP database, IRS, and appropriate LC and DC to ensure documentation of which Counselors are certified to assist taxpayers in the upcoming tax season

  • Minimum of two certified Counselors at sites

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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All Counselors must: (Some of those policies and procedures)

Maintain confidentiality/security of data

Never solicit business for self or others

Refuse any type of compensation or tips

Stay within scope of training/certification

Provide taxpayers with explanation (and a copy) of tax return as taxpayers retain responsibility of the accuracy of the return

Assist taxpayers at sites, not at volunteer homes

Serve customers with courtesy regardless of customer’s sex, race, age, religion, etc.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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100% Quality Review - All Returns

Second Person Quality Review (QR)

Second Person is a certified Counselor

Use the Extranet presentation for training QR

Review source documents and Intake Sheets for data to ensure nothing is missed (pay close attention to verify EINs to source documents to cut down on these rejects)

Check Quality Review boxes on the IRS Intake/Interview and Quality Review Form

Review entire return with taxpayer

Initial TaxWise Preparer Use Field 14 for QR. This must not be defaulted

Must have documented bank information when completing the return. Never take bank information over the phone.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Daily Site Operations

  • NEW: All forms must be returned to taxpayers at the end of their appointment (we no longer keep copies of the 8879, W2s, 1099s, etc.)

  • Train EROs with “ERO Training” presentation available on the Extranet and institute process to ensure all e-file returns are timely transmitted, rejects corrected and accepted

  • Train Client Facilitators with “Client Facilitator Training” available on the Extranet

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Closing Site Operations

Retained data for TaxWise desktop users is stored on disk or flashdrive and retained by only one person in the state (ask your leader for name)

For IRS-loaned computers, use the wipe disk program loaded on them.

For non-IRS equipment, use the ClearTaxpayerData program. Instructions for downloading, installing, and using ClearTaxpayerData may be found at www.aarp.org/tavolunteers.

Please note this is not required if using TaxWise Online (TWO).

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Accurate Activity Reporting

Activity Reporting supports continued AARP Foundation Tax-Aide funding.

Ensure all program activity is recorded on the appropriate Activity Reporting Log or as directed by your volunteer leader, Including Q&A for taxpayers when a return is not prepared, but only questions are answered.

Report site activity on a monthly basis or as instructed by your volunteer leader

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Accurate Activity Reporting

E-file sites must input Quality Reviewer initials in TaxWise preparer use field 14 and are strongly encouraged to input preparer initials in preparer use field 13

E-Files sites are strongly encouraged to input data from the IRS Intake & Interview form questions 14 and 15 about languages spoken in the home and a member of the household considered disabled into preparer use fields 11 and 12 respectively

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Accurate Information

The correct SIDN must be on every tax return

E-filing sites must use an EFIN assigned to AARP Foundation Tax-Aide and it must be on every e-filed return

Site lists must reflect correct dates, times and locations

Weekly updates to IRS SPECTRM system occur after September from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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IRS Revenue Code 7216

  • Internal Revenue Code Section 7216

    • The text provides penalties against tax return preparers who make unauthorized use or disclosure of tax return information

    • The IRS requires prescribed authorization for taxpayers to approve use and disclosure

    • AARP Foundation Tax-Aide does not need to use those procedures as we do not share specific data with anyone including VITA, banks, mortgage companies, others in AARP, etc.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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What’s New (or Fairly New)?

  • New: Taxpayer forms (8879s, W2s, 1099s, etc) cannot be retained by the site

  • New: A process needs to be established for EROs to track the flow of efile acceptances and rejects if the use of 8879s were used for this purpose in previous years

  • Required use of TaxWise preparer use field 14 for Quality Reviewer initials

  • Strongly encourage TaxWise preparer use field 13 for Counselor initials

  • Strongly encourage preparer use fields 11 for input of language other than English spoken in the home and 12 for a member of the household considered disabled

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Where LCs can go for help

Your District Coordinator

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide LC Digest

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteer Extranet www.aarp.org/tavolunteers (for forms, guides, presentations, and other info)

IRS Volunteer Hotline: 1-800-829-8482

IRS website: www.irs.gov

IRS refund help: 1-800-829-1954

IRS Taxpayer Advocate: 1-877-777-4778

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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Thanks!

Please know that the work you do to ensure the site is effectively operated is not only appreciated by all of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide organization but, most especially, the taxpayers served by the hardworking volunteers at your site! What would the taxpayers do without you?

Remember to have some fun and thank those volunteers on behalf of all of us for a truly remarkable year in 2011 and for being here again in 2012!

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide 2011 - 2012


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