2013 - MA Tax-Aide

Report
MASSACHUSETTS
AARP FOUNDATION
TAX-AIDE PROGRAM
SPRING WRAP-UP AND PLANNING
MEETING
4/30/2014
1
Results thru April 15
TY2013
TY2014
US E-Files Accepted
Mass E-Files Accepted
Married Filing Joint
26,781
27,043
6,888
29,577
29,434
7,297
Earned Income Credit
Child Tax Credit
Education Credit
Elderly Credit
2,385
737
275
84
2,720 ($2.6M)
812
298
75
Federal Refund Direct Deposits
Total Federal Refunds
Total Federal Bal Due
8,713
$18.8 M
$4.2 M
10,067 UP 15%
$20.7M UP 10%
$5.0M
UP 9.5%
SUPERB JOB BY OUR LEADERS AND OTHER VOLUNTEERS!!
Recruiting New Volunteers for
2013 Tax Season
Katherine Bleyl
MA Prospective Volunteer Specialist
Volunteer Recruitment
2013:
• 341 applicants
• 137 (40%) certified
• 142 (42%) no match/
unqualified
• 62 (18%) on hold/DC
evaluating (16 applied
after Jan. 15, 2014)
2012:
• 388 applicants
• 140 (36%) certified
• 159 (41%) no
match/unqualified
• 89 (23%) on hold/DC
evaluating
Source of Potential Volunteers 2013
2013 Total
2013
Certified (% )
2013 No Match
or Unqualified
2013 On Hold,
DC Evaluating
Another TaxAide
volunteer
69
41 (59%)
20
8
AARP Bulletin
36
14 (39%)
16
6
AARP Magazine
34
9 (26%)
14
11
AARP Website
34
9 (26%)
15
10
Letter from AARP *
33
11 (33%)
18
4
Email from AARP
16
7 (43%)
6
3
Other
75
27 (36%)
35
13
Totals:
297/341
137
109/142
55/62
How Applicant Learned
about TaxAide Program
* Nearly all applied between Aug. 1st - Sep. 16th, 2013
Conclusions
• Veteran TaxAide volunteers were most
prolific & successful source for new
potential volunteers 41of 69 (59%)
certified
– Similar for 2012 tax season with 52%
• Other recruiting methods resulted in 2643% of applicants certified
– Slightly improved from 2012 tax season
• AARP Audits
• I was able to visit 7 Districts for AARP audits;
found no major problems.
– One site – no nametags
– One site – met criteria, but could have done Intake
better.
– One site (not an audit) – met criteria, but took too
long on Intake (form wasn’t prefilled by Client)
– Gave me a better feel how sites vary across state
– Would like District help in audits next year
• Each District do one audit outside of the District by a
senior District person
7
• What Went Well?
• I assisted District 5 in their all hands meeting in
Jan. Helped me understand issues of other
Districts.
• District 10 had mid-season/end of season
meeting of DC with new volunteers.
• What worked well for you??
– State Templates?
– Working CORI issues
• What didn’t go well?
– Timely receipt of books and software.
8
MASSACHUSETTS CORI
(CRIMINAL OFFENDER RECORD INFORMATION)
Managed by
Department of Criminal Justice Information Services
(DCJIS)
9
• Sites Candidates to be Closed!
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Districts 2, 3, 4, 7, 16, 17, 25 -- NONE
District 5
Northampton
District 6
none (removed Kingston)
District 9
Melrose
District 10
Callahan SC, Waltham, Wayland
District 18
Bourne, Harwich, Sandwich
District 20
Billerica, Westford
• 10 TOTAL AS OF NOW
10
• CORI Background
– Since 1996 MA TA volunteers have been CORI’d
– Current CORI form requires DOB and last six of SSN
• Requests are made and results received on-line
– Historically less than 10% of MA COA’s have
required their own CORI of TA volunteers
– Volunteers in town programs must be CORI’d by
the town
• Tax-Aide is not a town run program, but a few
towns feel the need to CORI because they
sponsor /support us.
11
• Recent History
– In TY2012, 6 to 10 additional locations required
their own CORI.
– Initial TY2013 inputs pointed to a significant
increase in towns requiring CORI, including most
of Cape Cod.
– We closed a small number of problem sites in
TY2013, but worked with many sites who finally
agreed not to require CORI.
• Certification that all of our volunteers for that town
were CORI’d by us
• Written statements by towns that they weren’t
responsible for our staff or our work
12
• Issues
– Volunteer objections: Personal data in multiple
locations; some volunteers may work at as many
as 6 locations
– Concern over security of any feedback
– Agencies receiving feedback are not allowed to
share results.
– Some volunteers may decline to submit multiple
applications.
– Many COA’s have concluded that they need to do
a CORI every year if there is a “break in service”.
– Large inconsistencies in town CORI policy.
13
• What To Do, page 1
– We don’t have proof of CORI for our volunteers
who started before 2011.
– We need to periodically re-CORI all volunteers—
every 3 to 5 years.
– All Cape Cod volunteers were re-CORI’d last year;
we’ll plan to re-CORI about half of before 2011
volunteers in coming year, including all volunteers
at problem sites.
– We will certify to any site requesting it that all of
our volunteers at that site have a current CORI
and we will provide a list of such volunteers
14
• What To Do, page 2
– Immediate letter from Ligon and/or DC stating
that based on their CORI policy we will need to
close their site for the coming year.
– Offer an olive branch that we have been able to
work out acceptable arrangements with all but a
few Massachusetts sites and would like to see if
something is possible with their site.
– Conclude that we need to make a final decision by
July 1, so that we can make alternate plans for
reassigning our personnel and for serving our
Clients from your town elsewhere
15
• Sample of What Works at some sites!
• Obtain written confirmation from AARP of the
specific individuals that they have conducted CORI
review for. These individuals can serve as AARP
volunteers to be performed on Town property i.e.
Senior Center. We must post a notice in the space
used by AARP volunteers stating: “The volunteers
providing tax counseling services are volunteers of
AARP and as such have been trained and screened
by the AARP in compliance with applicable state law”
(message from Town Counsel)
16
• EFIN Background
– Every EFIN has a ‘Primary’ site, many EFIN’s have
one or more ‘Satellite’ sites.
– You can close a SIDN and re-open or re-name in
future
– Once closed EFIN’s are closed forever.
– Managing EFIN’s is a little like navigating the
Affordable Care website; it involves a number of
different databases.
– If you change the Primary site for one of your
EFIN’s, it’s best done when ordering software
17
• EFIN Status
– Two MA EFIN’s had none of their returns reported
this year because they closed their primary site and
considered one of the secondary sites the primary.
– Why do we care?
• Unreported returns reduce program funding
• EFINS with no activity for 2 years are closed.
– We’ve temporarily reopened the 2 primaries (for
admin purposes) and believe the data count will
now flow and get picked up in a month.
– IMPORTANT: We must identify primary site when
ordering software; we must identify any satellite
sites before start of tax season.
18
• EFIN Current Actions
– Complete mapping of SIDN’s vs EFIN’s as of end of
TY13
• Most Districts have updated.
– Dean Strack, Cathy Fitzgerald, Mary Anne Doyle
and I are exploring better ways to manage the EFIN
tracking/ordering process.
• Incremental Ordering
• Less cut and paste or re-type of input data, etc.
– Expect updates in your direction over summer and
at Fall meeting
19
TECHNOLOGY TOPICS
1. UPGRADE ALL AARP LOPTOPS TO WIN7
2. CONSUMABLES AND EQUIPMENTREPAIR
3. SWITCHING TO TWO
4. ORDERING SOFTWARE
5. HOT SPOTS
1. WINDOWS 7 UPGRADE
• ALL AARP COMPUTERS HAVE BEEN UPGRADED
TO WIN 7
• REGISTER AARP LAPTOPS TO NATIONAL
DATABASE WITH NEW TIA TOOL
• RUN WINDOWS UPDATE PERIODICALLY
DURING OFF SEASON. Monthly is best.
2. CONSUMABLES AND EQUIPMENT
REPAIR
• TRY TO CONSOLIDATE ORDERS TO MINIMIZE
SHIPPING COSTS
• ALL AARP PRINTERS AND COMPUTERS WILL BE
REPAIRED BY GRACEWORKZ
• NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR PERSONAL INKJET
PRINTER CARTRIDGES
3. SWITCHING TO TWO
• CHECK SITES FOR INTERNET CONNECTION
EITHER WIRELESS OR WITH AARP ROUTER
• UTILIZE SHARED OR NETWORK PRINTING
• CHECK AVAILABILITY OF SITE EQUIPMENT FOR
TAX PREPARATION
• ARRANGE FOR SITE VISITS FROM TECH
COORDINATOR
• HOT SPOT DETERMINATIONS
4. ORDERING SOFTWARE
•
•
•
•
UPDATE OR CONFIRM LAST YEAR ORDER
CONSOLIDATING SITES
FIRST ORDER WILL BE SENT 15 OCTOBER
ORDERS MAY BE PROCESSED ANY TIME IF
DELAY IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH TWO SITE
• MA STATE TEMPLATES WILL BE PROVIDED IN
JANUARY. NATIONAL AARP TEMPLATES (2013)
ARE AVAILABLE FOR TRAINING
Training Goals for 2014
1) Standardized Curriculum
2) Simplified Training Materials
3) Reduced Classroom Lecture Time
4) Increased Home Study
5) Instructor Workshops
6) TWO “Immersion” Methodology
7) Note: Our Peter Viles is on National Training
Committee
Mass Tax-Aide – Spring 2014
Standardized Curriculum
• Set at National Level
− Revised at State Level
• Consistent Within District
Simplified Training Materials
• Core vs Comprehensive
• Possible NTTC Determination
− No revision of 4491
Mass Tax-Aide Spring 2014
Reduced Classroom Lecture Time
• Less Emphasis on Slides
• More Use of TWO
Increased Home Study
• Supervised Practice Returns
• Veteran Mentors
Mass Tax-Aide – Spring 2014
Instructor Workshops
• September / October
• Tax-Aide / TWO / ERO
TWO “Immersion” Methodology
• 3 (or More) Districts
• 2 (or More) Instructors / District
Mass Tax-Aide – Spring 2014
MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS
1. DeskTop EFIN’s: After being ahead of most of the country in converting
to TWO, we’ve stuck at around 90% with 9 desktop EFIN’s. Discussion
please!
2. Tax-Aide Service for homebound—a needed service, but in-efficient use
of our Counselors
3. DOR Items
1. Change to Legacy relationship with IRS; we would have been better
informed if we had been on DOR Vendor E-mail List.
2. DOR end-of-season delay – solely related to DOR on-line tax prep
software
3. DOR still questioning and asking for back-up on some CB and 1099R returns as part of their anti-fraud efforts.

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