NC-TAC Partners offer individuals information regarding their financial well-being; rights, responsibilities, and options as taxpayers; and their role in impacting the decisions of financial institutions. We do this through educational videos, radio public service announcements, distribution of written materials such as brochures and flyers, and traditional workshop formats. Our community education is designed to evoke change in individual financial decisions, so that real change can occur in promoting their collective community wealth.
TAC partners utilize their VITA and LITC sites as vehicles to educate the public about tax issues. Thousands of residents are served through these two programs every year in Greater Durham as a result of these outreach efforts.
ESL Outreach and Education
Funded by an IRS grant to conduct ESL Outreach and Education through its LITC program, TAC Partner, Reinvestment Partners is currently developing a 10-minute video presentation to assist in educating the ESL population of their rights, responsibilities and options as it relates to income tax issues. The video, produced in Spanish and incorporating English subtitles will be made available to LITCs in other service locations to further their education and outreach goals.
Qualified volunteers from the NC-TAC regularly participate in information fairs hosted by other agencies by setting up informational booths and providing brochures, flyers and other available materials describing tax issues, services and LITC offerings. They are available to answer questions and direct inquiries to appropriate next steps. If power is available, the educational video will also be continuously played at these fairs.
TAC representatives also conduct facilitated training/informational sessions both at predominantly ESL populated worksites and at LITC Sites. These are designed to give taxpayers a general overview of their rights and responsibilities, and then to assist those who need additional tax assistance, such as completing prior year returns, applying for ITINs, and assisting clients in negotiating the IRS system when they owe Federal taxes.
Workforce Development/Training Training Workfirst Employees as Tax Preparers
The TAC utilizes participants from the Department of Social Services Work First Program to prepare taxes at some of its VITA sites. These workers are “hired” and paid comparable wages, in addition to receiving invaluable training and work experience. In addition to the clear benefit to the VITA staff, the clients served at VITA sites benefit because staff are actually members of the target population, and therefore have intimate knowledge of that population. This allows staff to personally connect in a more meaningful way to the clients being served.
Work-First preparers are put through a rigorous formal intake process, an interactive interview process, and a full training and testing period which ends with their certification by the IRS to prepare taxes on multiple levels of difficulty. They receive ongoing training in tax preparation throughout their employment and continue testing to advance through the certification levels offered. Unique to this program, Work-First preparers are also offered weekly classes to enrich their personal development, both in the workplace and regarding their personal finances.
The NC-TAC is a coalition effort between Reinvestment Partners, Duke Law School, NCCU School of Law, and NC Legal Aid, and numerous other Community Organizations, City, County and State Agencies dedicated to assisting NC taxpayers in utilizing available tax services in and around Durham.