¶ … Training for the Program
Adequacy of the software training
The software requires Java and use of Adobe Reader. While it seems daunting at first to sift through all of the information, there are a wealth of resources available. The VITA/TCE Training Supplement offers those looking to participate in the program with updates of any new products introduced into VITA/TCE. Because course instructors and volunteer tax preparers have to complete supplemental training before they can assist taxpayers, this kind of added layers of training assures there is some level of quality being maintained in the program. The fact also that everything is online helps.
Adequacy of the tax law training
The IRS website makes it clear, people willing to participate in the program have the opportunity to learn in a site or online. Making information available online along with evaluations of how the curriculum is and supplemental information/training assures not only convenience, but also ease of use and quality. For example, Publication 4480 is an exercise workbook, Volunteer Resource Guide and Form 6744. Additional E-learning Products like Publications 5051 CD and Publication 1290 CD contain training materials as well as the Link and Learn Taxes application. They also cover training for special circumstances like foreign students and residents of Puerto Rico. Every situation one can think of is covered in the curriculum offered. The TAXWISE software was easy enough to use and required little effort to understand thanks to the easy to understand interface.
c. What would you recommend to improve the software & tax law training?
The biggest hurdle however, is that everything seems scattered. The software is split via several avenues with other training products and technical resources available through searching through the volunteer training resources page instead of having it all in one simple package. Things like Publication 4491-W (Current Tax Year Answers), should be made available as part of the kit. It should not have to be...
If the kit included all the additional resources with only phone numbers listed as additional resources or website links, then it would be a more comprehensive and easy to use training method.
2. Your Opinion of the VITA site operation
a. The processing of clients at the site - greeting, interviewing, preparing, printing etc.
Clients were processed in four sections. The first part is the front desk. At the front desk, clients came and asked for help with tax filing. Here their IDs were checked, their information entered with an interview, clip board, and pen given to them for the next phase. The next phase was the interview table. Here volunteers asked questions to determine the person's status. After that step, all documents were checked, in which determination of which credit the person can get was considered. With interview finished, volunteers brought clients to a computer desk to another, waiting volunteer. Tax preparation began. After tax preparer completed his or her task, he/she would ask a quality reviewer to check for any possible errors during tax filing. If any tax preparer was in need of assistance, he/she would ask a manager for help. The manager also took on the role of quality reviewer. After quality check was finished, both the tax preparer and quality reviewer signed the Review checklist. Afterwards, the client was taken to the printer section. Here another volunteer stationed at the printer section printed a copy, which was then given to the client after checking information was consistent with client information and then took the client's signature.
b. The overall atmosphere of the program
The program had a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. All volunteers helped each other and there were a couple of managers with one HR manager. With the majority of the volunteers being accounting students, everyone was able to remain friendly and professional with the Professor brining food a couple of times on the weekend. There was a dress code excluding jeans from being worn. Overall, everything was easy to learn, do thanks to the friendliness and professionalism of everyone there.
c. The attitude, professionalism and collegiality of VITA managers
As previously stated, everyone was cooperative and friendly. If I needed help or had any questions, the manager was there to assist me and others. Volunteers also heled each other. There was also a feeling of professionalism throughout due to dress code…
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