Client Story Collecting Made Simpler this Tax Season
The opening of the 2013 tax filing season is [finally!] here. As proposals for tax reform are being tossed around in Washington, D.C., it is critical that we bring the voices of our clients to the debate. That is why it’s so critical for VITA programs to collect client stories.
This year, NCTC has created a new and simpler procedure to help VITA sites capture the real-life stories of the clients they serve. This process will also help us gather stories throughout the tax season so we will be able to use them as soon as feasible. Here’s a quick overview of this process, which was designed to ease the burden on busy volunteers and site staff:
- At outtake, volunteers can ask clients if they are willing to share their story. If the client says “yes,” all they need to do is fill out a short worksheet with their contact information.
- Once NCTC staff gets the contact information, they will contact the client to conduct an interview. NCTC will return the completed story to your site staff.
- NCTC will hold a drawing every two weeks of the client stories submitted, and the winning client will receive a $20 gift card.
For more details on the process, take a look at the accompanying materials on our website, including a one-page volunteer training sheet that describes the procedure, the client contact information worksheet, and the client story release form.
The stories we collect from our clients really highlight the importance of the VITA program as a whole, as well as the critical assistance that tax credits provide for hardworking families across the country.
These stories help make abstract or complicated tax policies concrete and easier to understand. They provide a local community perspective on issues that affect the entire nation. And, most importantly, they help us all to remember that at the end of the day, VITA services and tax credits exist for the individuals and families who use them to get by and get ahead.