Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures Review

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures Review For All Volunteers Tax Year 2017 1 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Program Objective Provide caring, courteous service that results in correct tax returns and the optimum outcome for each taxpayer and fulfillment for volunteers.

2 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Session Objective: Awareness of Grant Requirements Volunteer Standards of Conduct Quality Site Requirements 3 Tax-Aide Policies and

Procedures TY2017 AARP Foundation TaxAide Program Guidelines Program Policies Taxpayer Information and Responsibilities Incident Review Protocol IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct Each volunteer agrees to comply with the Standards of Conduct by signing the Volunteer Agreement the contract between each volunteer and the IRS Click icon to add picture

John Hancock AARP Tax-Aide Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108 [email protected] 7 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 John Hancock 617-227-1111

IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct As a volunteer in the VITA/TCE Programs, you must: 1) Follow the Quality Site Requirements (QSR). 4) Not knowingly prepare false returns. 2) Not accept payment, solicit donations, or accept refund payments for federal or state tax return preparation. 3) Not solicit business from taxpayers you assist or use the knowledge you gained (their information) about them for any direct or indirect personal benefit for you or any other specific individual.

5) Not engage in criminal, infamous, dishonest, notoriously disgraceful conduct or any other conduct deemed to have a negative effect on the VITA/TCE programs. 6) Treat all taxpayers in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner. IRS Quality Site Requirements Quality Site Requirements (QSR) help ensure quality and accuracy of tax return preparation and consistent operation at sites Volunteers agree to adhere, comply and follow the ten QSRs per Standards of Conduct #1 9

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 QSR #1: Volunteer Certification All volunteers complete training and pass tests appropriate for their role(s) 10 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 All Tax-Aide Volunteers Must Annually: Complete IRS Volunteer Standards of

Conduct Training and pass associated IRS test with score of 80% or higher Complete Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures Training (this session) Sign IRS Volunteer Agreement Form 13615 11 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Client Facilitator, Local Coordinator and Shift Coordinator Must Annually: Also complete Intake/Interview and Quality Review Training and pass associated IRS test with a score of 80% or higher

12 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Counselor, Instructor, TRC, TRS and ERO Must Annually: Also pass IRS Advanced tax law test* with a score of 80% or higher Optionally, certify in additional areas of tax law by completing applicable training and passing associated test with a score of 80% or higher Satisfactorily complete specified number of practice returns as part of their training * Abbreviated Circular 230 certification test for Enrolled Agents, CPAs and other

tax professionals does not apply to Tax-Aide volunteers 13 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 QSR #1: Counselors Must: Prepare tax returns that are in scope Identify out-of-scope returns as early as possible in the tax return preparation process all out-of-scope tax returns are required to be referred to a professional tax return preparer 14

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 Volunteer not liable for harm caused by his/ her act or omission if: Acted within scope of program and training Followed IRS and AARP policies and procedures Harm not due to willful, criminal, reckless, or grossly negligent act 15 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017

QSR #2: Intake/Interview and Quality Review Must use current year Form 13614-C Intake/Interview & Quality Review Sheet Must complete the entire Intake and Interview process for every tax return Explain process and that taxpayer is responsible for the information on the return Ask probing questions to ensure accurate and complete answers to all questions Note new or changed information on form 16 Tax-Aide Policies and

Procedures TY2017 QSR #2: Intake/Interview and Quality Review Quality Review Process requires 100% review of every tax return by 2nd Counselor with taxpayer Full review and discussion of all pages of Intake Sheet Probing questions to ensure correct application of tax law, not just verification of names and numbers Note new or changed information on form Advise taxpayers of their ultimate responsibility for the information recorded on their tax return 17 Tax-Aide Policies and

Procedures TY2017 QSR #3: Photo Identification and Taxpayer Identification Numbers Verified Process in place to confirm taxpayer identities All taxpayers show photo ID* SS cards or ITIN documents for all people on return* *rare exceptions approved by LC 18 Tax-Aide Policies and

Procedures TY2017 GAYLE E SAMPLE QSR #4: Reference Material Available IRS Pubs 17 and 4012 (paper or electronic) Appropriate State Tax Instructions Tax-Aide Cybertax Alerts* * Not all CyberTax messages are required, only those labeled as Alerts,i.e., Volunteer Tax Alerts and Quality Site Requirement Alerts 19

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 QSR #5: Volunteer Agreement Volunteer Agreement the contract signed by Volunteer and approved by Instructor or Local Coordinator to confirm: H Approving official has verified the volunteers identity H Volunteer has completed the required IRS certification test(s) before the volunteer is allowed to work at the site. John Hancock AARP Tax-Aide Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108

[email protected] 20 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 John 617-227-1111 QSR #6: Timely Filing of Tax Returns Both taxpayer and spouse must sign Form 8879 to authorize e-file of return Taxpayer informed that he/she is responsible for accuracy of return before the Form 8879 is signed

All returns e-filed promptly (same day) and any rejects resolved in timely manner (usually within 24 hours) 21 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 QSR #7: Civil Rights Sites must provide information to taxpayers regarding their Civil Rights AARP Poster (D143) (Trash/ recycle old posters)

Display at first point of contact between volunteer and taxpayer 22 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 QSR #8: Correct Site Identification Number (SIDN) QSR #9: Correct Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) TaxSlayer defaults set to ensure correct SIDN automatically appears on each tax return TaxSlayer defaults set to ensure correct EFIN automatically appears on Form 8879

23 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 QSR #10: Security, Privacy, Confidentiality Do not retain any taxpayer data at any time Always wear name identification badge with first name and last initial only Keep confidential the personal information about other volunteers Promptly report any lost data to National office 24

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Security, Privacy, Confidentiality Protect all data gathered for tax return preparation Keep confidential the information provided by taxpayers for tax return preparation Turn screen so cant be seen by someone other than taxpayer Restrict cell phone usage; prevent photos of financial data Dont talk about a taxpayers return where others can hear 25

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Security, Privacy, Confidentiality During follow-up conversation with taxpayer on rejected return Tax-Aide volunteer should clearly identify himself/herself including when and where return was prepared Volunteer should obtain information such as birth date, details of an income document, etc. to verify that person is actual taxpayer Do not include any taxpayer personal information (other than name) in an email 26

Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Security, Privacy, Confidentiality Know and comply with password requirements Never post password on or near computer Store equipment in secure limited-access environment when not in use Immediately notify your volunteer leader if: Computer is stolen or lost Forms with taxpayer data are stolen, lost or a taxpayer has unauthorized access to another taxpayers documents 27 Tax-Aide Policies and

Procedures TY2017 Summary: All Volunteers Must Complete Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures Training Pass the IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct and Intake/Interview and Quality Review tests Wear name tag with first name and first initial only of last name 28 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Summary: All Counselors Must

Pass IRS Intake/Interview and Quality Review and Advanced tests NOT prepare returns that are out of scope for Tax-Aide NOT prepare a return for which they are not trained or do not have sufficient knowledge to prepare, even if it is in-scope (refer to another Counselor) NOT prepare a return if they believe that the taxpayer is not truthful about the information provided 29 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Final Reminders: Volunteer Checklist

Secure Equipment and Tax Data Certify: Pass appropriate tests Follow key policies, e.g. IRS Standards of Conduct and QSRs, AARP Foundation Policies Interview/Intake process for every taxpayer 100% Quality Review by 2nd Counselor Close for the day; have and comply with a process for tracking all e-files through acceptance Accurately Report Service Activity Include Q & As 37 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures

Questions? Comments 38 Tax-Aide Policies and Procedures TY2017

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