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.