IRS seeks volunteers for VITA and TCE tax preparation help programs

There are many ways to give back to the community, from outright cash donations to volunteer work at nonprofit groups.

But have you ever considered helping others, including seniors and modest-income individuals, file their income-tax returns?

The Internal Revenue Service and various partner agencies will soon start ramping up their efforts to attract volunteers for two programs — VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and TCE, or Tax Counseling for the Elderly — for the coming tax season.

Both programs offer tax-preparation help, featuring electronic filing for added security and faster refunds, at no cost to the public.

Recruiting of volunteers is ongoing but shifts into high gear in October, with training commencing after Thanksgiving and conducted by the partner organizations rather than the IRS, said Jim Simpson, who oversees six tax-prep sites in Phoenix and Scottsdale.