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Issue 40698

Modify VITA Training to Include HSA Issues

Project Statement:

Current training requirements for all VITA volunteer tax preparers require them to certify at either the Basic or Advance level. Many, if not most, certify at the Advanced level. However, to see clients that have health savings accounts ), volunteers need to take an additional course relating to HSAs. Since HSA accounts are becoming increasingly more common, being certified in HSA is increasingly important for volunteer tax preparers. However, this certification requirement frequently leads to additional confusion in practice as the site coordinators need to keep careful track of which of their volunteers for that day can see clients with HSA accounts. This leads to overall slower return processing as the site coordinators try to determine who can see these clients.

Goal Statement:

To improve the efficiency of VITA to handle clients with HSA accounts and thereby process more returns quicker and more accurately.

TAP RECOMMENDATION

Proposed Solution: Consolidate the HSA training into the Advanced training course so that all volunteers who pass the Advanced level are also HSA qualified.

IRS Action:Awaiting IRS response

For the 2019 Tax Year, the HSA course will remain apart from the Advanced Module.

For the 2020 Tax Year, we will explore how incorporating a revised HSA course into the Advanced Module impacts:

1) The total number of Continuing Education credits made available for volunteers who participate (we do not want to reduce the overall number of Continuing Education Credits made available to volunteers); and

2) How partners operate their VITA/TCE sites

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2020 TAP Annual Report

The 2020 TAP Annual Report highlights our key recommendations to improve IRS customer service and summarizes our key accomplishments and activities, including the 237 recommendations submitted to the IRS in 2020.

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