In preparation for this tax season, New Ventures Maine collaborated with the University of Maine at Augusta’s Accounting Program, Colby College’s Center for Civic Engagement, and other Maine colleges to recruit students as volunteer tax preparers for CA$H Maine’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites. Leah Kovitch was not new to tax preparation when she joined CA$H Maine’s volunteer team. Alongside her volunteer work, Leah works as a professional tax preparer, attends graduate school at USM, and is enrolled in the Accounting Program at UMA. Leah shares her unique perspective on what it’s like to be a volunteer tax preparer:
“Doing people’s taxes is actually very personal. You learn a lot about their financial situations and their financial health.”
With a background in social work, Leah enjoys this aspect of tax preparation and is eager to help tax filers reach their financial goals. Leah shares that her appreciation for the tax system stems from the understanding that it can actually work to help people. As a volunteer tax preparer, Leah finds herself answering questions like “What are the benefits of filing or are there any credits for which I am eligible?” Asking these questions allows Leah to find the ways the tax system can benefit tax filers. Leah will continue to do this work into mid-May, as the IRS extended the tax deadline to May 17th this year.
In addition to being able to introduce tax filers to new tax credits, Leah is motivated by the money tax filers save just by having taxes prepared at a CA$H Maine VITA site rather than a paid tax preparation option. For many, Leah says, having your taxes done can be “cost prohibitive” and yet it is required of many of us and can benefit us in our financial lives.
To those who may volunteer in the future, Leah says “go for it.”
For more information, visit https://www.cashmaine.org/