VITA couldn’t exist without the help of our volunteers.
You don’t have to be an accountant to be a successful volunteer. Our volunteers come from all types of backgrounds and professions.
Each year, the CA$H Coalition relies on Capital Region residents to volunteer as tax preparers and office assistants at multiple VITA sites throughout the Capital Region. Volunteers are offered a no-cost, comprehensive training program, and easy-to-use software to prepare for the IRS certification test and help others complete their taxes successfully.
Who We Are
The Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (CA$H) Coalition of the Greater Capital Region helps individuals and families increase financial self-sufficiency. CA$H partners provide free income tax preparation, access to community resources, financial education and asset-building activities. Our vision is that individuals and families in the nine counties served by the CA$H Coalition of the Greater Capital Region will be able to keep more of what they earned as well as access tools and develop habits that allow them to achieve long-term financial security.
What We Do
CA$H of the Greater Capital Region is a Coalition of more than 100 community partners committed to helping local individuals and families keep more of their money and improve their financial stability. Since the coalition began in 2007, CA$H partners have returned more than $80 million in tax refunds and credits to working families and the Capital Region economy through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) / AARP Tax-Aide Program.
During the tax season, CA$H of the Greater Capital Region operates more than 50 free tax preparation sites in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Hamilton, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Schoharie counties. At each site, IRS-certified VITA volunteers prepare and electronically file federal and New York State tax returns at no cost for income-eligible persons. CA$H also provides information about debt management, savings programs, money management, job training and more.
The short-term goal is to help working families keep more of what they earn. The long-term goal is to help people become more financially independent so they can participate fully in the economy, gain access to more opportunities, and enjoy a better quality of life.
For questions on how to get involved, email Andrew Kochian at Andrew@unitedwaygcr.org
Flexible training schedules are offered
Help taxpayers complete their returns using taxpayer-provided information. Review completed return for quality and accuracy. Requires nine hours of free online class training.
Use a designated quality review tool to evaluate completed tax returns for accuracy. Correct errors and provide feedback to a volunteer preparer. Requires nine hours of free online class training.
Screen taxpayers to determine the type of assistance they need and the forms that will be required to complete their returns. Schedule tax return appointment with a preparer having the appropriate technical level.
Survey taxpayers and provide completed surveys to the VITA site coordinator. Assist with the traffic flow at the site to ensure minimal waiting times. Assist the VITA site coordinator as needed.