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 The state tax group team at the Reed Smith law firm, which each year volunteers to help low- to moderate-income individuals with their tax returns, is hosting a virtual IRS-certified training session next week for prospective volunteers to join the effort to help eligible people obtain tax refunds.

Volunteers need not be lawyers or certified public accountants, but they must participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) training program that will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28. VITA is designed to help low- and moderate-income Americans obtain free professional tax assistance, so they receive all tax benefits for which they are eligible.

For example, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan changed the rules for the Earned Income Tax Credit program for the 2021 tax year, making even more individuals eligible and tripling the tax credit to between $1,502 to $6,728. Claiming the EITC reduces taxes owed, and in some cases even allows taxpayers to claim a refund. However, individuals cannot get the money without filing a tax return.

Members of Reed Smith’s state tax group volunteer through a Philadelphia-based nonprofit called The Campaign for Working Families Inc. (CWF). Last year alone, CWF volunteers assisted more than 20,000 people with their tax returns and helped them obtain over $36 million in tax refunds.

To register for the VITA training, go to the CWF event page. If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one to register. Be sure to complete the required pre-training items listed on the event page before the Jan. 28 session begins.

For further information, email Reed Smith partner Kenneth Levine.