Monthly Archives: June 2012

And Many More: IRS Marks Third Anniversary of Preparer Requirements

Birthday Hat

Perhaps a round of “Happy Birthday” is in order?

This month marks the third anniversary of the IRS’s initiative to ensure competency, accountability and ethics in paid tax preparers. To celebrate, the IRS is letting everyone know some of the progress that has been made in implementing the new regulations: Read the rest of this entry


Start Here: Five Things to Know Before You Start a VITA Site

Start HereStarted over a decade ago, United Way of King County’s VITA program, known as the “Free Tax Campaign,” is an active leader in promoting economic stability in Western Washington. In 2012, 650 volunteers filed 14,400 returns across 16 tax sites. The growth of the Free Tax Campaign is largely due to ongoing evaluation and adaptation. Reflecting on the pitfalls and success that we have experienced, we would like to offer some thoughts to consider before you start a VITA program in your community.  Read the rest of this entry

House Committee: Hold Steady on VITA Funding

ImageKey U.S. House members have recommended maintaining VITA’s federal grant funding at a level, $12 million for the coming fiscal year, one week after their Senate counterparts suggested likewise.

As we blogged after the Senate Appropriations Committee’s action, this “mark-up” by House Appropriations Committee members ranks as a qualified victory, considering the myriad fiscal pressures with which policymakers are wrestling.   Read the rest of this entry

Another Puzzle Piece in Place for VITA Funding

Puzzle PieceWhile next year’s budget is far from set, some qualified good news for VITA emerged from recent U.S. Senate discussions.

Federal VITA grant funding shouldn’t fall below its current level of $12 million, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s “mark-up” for financial services and general government dollars in Fiscal Year 2013.

“The Committee recognizes that the applications for these grants far exceed the available resources,” the panel’s report acknowledges. Moreover, programs’ state and local resources have been slashed even as the number of grantees dividing the federal grant grows – further constricting support for free tax preparation services for low- and middle-income, working families.  Read the rest of this entry

Q&A: John Pierre, Chair of the NCTC Board of Managers

John PierreOn January 1, NCTC officially became a limited liability company (LLC) and established a Board of Managers as its official governing entity.

The Board will be meeting for their first in-person meeting with other members and NCTC staff in Chicago, IL tomorrow. In conjunction with this meeting, we asked Board Chair John Pierre to answer a few questions about the Board, its work and the future of NCTC.

What is the Board of Managers and how is it different than the previous governing body, the NCTC Steering Committee?

The Board of Managers is the governing body for the newly formed limited liability company (LLC) structure adopted for NCTC.  Read the rest of this entry

Yet More Evidence Paid Preparer Regulations Are Necessary (and Working)

Tax Preparation Sign

Preparer fraud threatens the effectiveness and integrity of the EITC and CTC

A few months ago, in response to a lawsuit to stop regulations for paid tax preparers, we reiterated our support for new rules requiring them to pass a competency exam and participate in continuing education.

To re-reiterate: Like everyone else, low-income filers deserve access to high-quality service when meeting their tax obligations. Mistakes on the tax returns of low-income taxpayers can cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars, immediately or further down the road.

But there’s even more at stake. Read the rest of this entry