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Free Volunteer Tax Counselor Training Offered

Ohio Benefit Bank is currently hosting on-line training for individuals interested in volunteering as tax counselors. After the training is completed volunteer tax counselors can assist low- to moderate-income families with free tax preparation during tax clinics starting in February. The self-directed on-line training will provide necessary preparation and is encouraged for all counselors, both new and existing. The training is open to anyone and is suggested for those who work with social service agencies or who are members of the faith-based community and may have interaction with people who need assistance. To receive the on-line training, go to http://support.ohiobenefits.org/taxes.html#training.

After taking the training, volunteers can contact Amber Hirt at the HHWP Community Action Commission to be scheduled for clinics. She can be reached at ahirt@hhwpcac.com or by calling 419-423-3755. Individuals who complete the training and have access to a computer can also assist others on their own or through other organizations such as churches or schools. Additionally, trained counselors can assist family and friends.

This new on-line training contains informational videos and interactive activities. The training covers detailed tax law information in an easy-to-understand way. Key topics covered include: Ohio Association of Foodbanks, various roles within the OBB network, detailed information about completing federal and state taxes with The Benefit Bank on-line service, and the navigational elements of the on-line service.

The Ohio Benefit Bank is implemented through a public-private partnership between the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, the State of Ohio, four federal agencies, nine state agencies and about 1,300 faith-based and community organizations across Ohio. United Way of Hancock County is the local host of the organization which wishes to provide individuals and families access to unclaimed funds.

For more information, contact Beverly Phillips, community services director at United Way of Hancock County at Beverly.phillips@uwhancock.org or 419-423-1432.