Tax Preparer for WNC Economic Recovery Program
**Multiple positions available across 18 WNC counties: Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Madison, Buncombe, Henderson, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, Avery, Burke, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey** Pisgah Legal Services is a community-based non-profit corporation governed by a local Board of Directors. PLS has an annual budget of $8 million from a multitude of funding sources. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in western North Carolina. PLS has offices in Asheville, Burnsville, Newland, Spruce Pine, Hendersonville, Rutherfordton, Brevard, Highlands/Cashiers and Marshall. With a dedicated staff of ninety-six, including thirty-six attorneys plus supporting staff, and an active pro bono panel of 300 private attorneys, the program provides free services to more than 20,000 people per year to meet their basic needs, primarily in the poverty law areas of housing, public benefits, domestic violence prevention, health care, immigration, and consumer law. Nature and Location of Position: The Tax Preparer positions will support the WNC Economic Recovery Program by preparing tax returns for qualifying WNC households through Pisgah Legal’s IRS VITA Site(s). The Tax Preparers will also be available to assist other staff and volunteers to provide tax preparation expertise, conduct quality review of returns, and serve as Site Coordinators for the VITA sites(s) as necessary. This position covers a service area of 18 counties in WNC as part of a multi-year grant funded expansion of anti-poverty work within the broad areas of free tax preparation/tax credits and outreach/enrollment for Affordable Care Act health insurance. The WNC Economic Recovery Program is designed to have long-term impact through two main priorities: (1) reduce the child poverty rate in each WNC county and (2) increase the insured rate through quality, affordable health care coverage in each WNC county. The program will work in conjunction with the entire PLS legal aid staff to support expanding free legal assistance to help a growing number of very low-income people each year to solve problems related to basic needs, particularly housing, domestic violence, health care, and insufficient income. Work will include travel throughout Pisgah Legal Service’s 18 county service area in WNC as well as remote services by phone and Zoom. Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Maintain Advanced Tax Preparer (or Qualified Experienced Volunteer Certification), Intake/Interview and Quality Review, Volunteer Standards of Conduct, and Site Coordinator certifications through the IRS VITA Program on an annual basis.
- Perform Quality Review, Intake and Interview, and tax preparation services for qualifying households through Pisgah Legal’s VITA Site(s). Program services may be offered in person, virtually, or a combination of the two.
- Know and counsel WNC residents regarding the benefits of child tax credits, earned income tax credits, and Affordable Care Act advanced premium tax credits.
- Provide tax preparation expertise to PLS VITA Program staff and volunteers.
- Identify and contact taxpayers who may have a “good story” when requests come from media.
- Provide all information and services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate and ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
- Conduct community outreach for WNC Economic Recovery Program.
- Travel to PLS counties outside of Buncombe.
- Attend PLS staff meetings and other meetings relevant to the WNC Economic Recovery Program.
- Provide referrals to appropriate agencies for taxpayers with grievances, complaints, questions, or need for other social services.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Passion for and commitment to PLS’ mission, values and vision.
- Bachelor’s degree and one year of professional tax preparation experience or equivalent experience preferred.
- Available to work Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm, with flexibility for some evening and weekend shifts especially during tax season.
- Demonstrated skills at socio-economic and cultural sensitivity and the ability to work with clients who may be angry, upset, or ill.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with attention to detail.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with teams and independently.
- Fluency in Spanish would be an asset.
- Possess a valid driver's license.
To Apply E-mail resumé and cover letter describing relevant experience to email@example.com. PLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice. Pisgah Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
February 5, 2022
Pisgah Legal Services NC