Taxpayer Opportunity Network
Upcoming and Archived Webinars
The Taxpayer Opportunity Network will host regular webinars to feature expert speakers on a range of topics to bring you the latest from the field.
- Delayed Refund VITA Communications Campaign: Messaging Strategies and Tools for VITA Programs
November 18,2016 | Powerpoint Presentation | Webinar Recording | Generic VITA EITC Refund Delay Press Release
This webinar featured representatives from Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, Glen Echo Group, National Consumers League, and Prepare + Prosper to announce and roll out their messaging campaign around the delayed EITC refund. In addition, there are generic press release templates for VITAs to discuss the delay with tax filers.
- Maximizing the VITA Volunteer Experience:
November 17, 2016 | Powerpoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
This webinar featured experts in the volunteer management, recruitment, and retention space. In addition, it featured a discussion amongst the experts on the most pressing volunteer concerns.
- Introduction to the TaxSlayer Practice Lab for VITA
June 24, 2016 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
This webinar featured TaxSlayer and their released VITA/TCE Practice Lab in May. Over 2,000 users have already set up accounts and begun preparing practice returns using the new TaxSlayer software. Attendees joined the Taxpayer Opportunity Network as we welcomed Kim Manuel from TaxSlayer to learn more about the new Practice Lab and the TaxSlayer software.
June 9, 2016 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
This webinar featured representatives from foundations, government agencies and practitioners sharing the lessons they've learned about tax-time financial capability integration and the questions they're still trying to answer. We also discussed program design theories and how to incorporate client-entered approaches into this work. We wrapped up by sharing tools and resources that programs can apply to their work today.
- VITA Grant Changes and Tips for Winning a Grant
April 10, 2016 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
The IRS VITA Grant application period starts May 1 and ends May 31. Funding has increased by 25%—and if you miss the May 31 deadline, you can’t apply until 2018! On this webinar, IRS Senior Analyst Don Dill presented on the major changes to the VITA grant: the Two Year Grant Cycle; the 25% funding increase; the reduction to a 1% growth requirement. This webinar included Taxpayer Opportunity Network members for a discussion of best practices and helpful tips for writing successful VITA grants. This webinar is ideal for first-time applicants and those who have been writing winning VITA grants for years.
- ACA and VITA: Helpful Info for Tax Preparers and Site Managers
February 25, 2016 | PowerPoint Presentation
An engaging discussion with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Stefanie Costello and David Santana and Tax Prep Dispatch author Barbara DelBene. FAQs from tax preparers regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Presenters focus on answering questions they are hearing from tax preparers in the field about 1095-As, marketplace exemptions, marketplace notifications, options for taxpayers with no insurance and more.
- VITA in 2016: The IRS Highlights Key Changes for the Upcoming Tax Season
January 20, 2016 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
A live training with Don Dill, Senior Tax Analyst with IRS-SPEC, covering key updates for the upcoming tax season. Don outlines the most significant changes to tax law and VITA products and procedures, including tax return scope, Quality Site Requirements, IRS and TIGTA reviews, resource materials, and forms related to ACA.
- EITC Outreach: Tools and Lessons for Reaching Taxpayers, Community-Based Organizations and Policymakers
December 9, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Are you interested in doing more around EITC outreach in your community? Are you looking for strategies to reach taxpayers, CBOs and policymakers with information about the tax credit that impacts millions of working families every year? With EITC Awareness Day approaching, join the Taxpayer Opportunity Network and our guest experts—the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Tax Credits for Working Families—for an engaging learning event on Wednesday, December 9. We’ll discuss what the tax credit is, who qualifies and why it’s important. We’ll also review different target audiences for EITC outreach—including taxpayers and policymakers—and various tools, lessons and opportunities for you to engage, including EITC Awareness.
- TON Partner Spotlight: National Disability Institute: A Highlight of Tools and Resources to Support Taxpayers with Disabilities
December 3, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
A discussion with the National Disability Institute (NDI) highlighting best practices and available resources to help increase the accessibility of VITA/TCE sites to all individuals.
- Virtual Coffee: Insights on Starting a New VITA Program
November 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Preparing to launch a new VITA program this season? Or perhaps you are a VITA professional with just a few years of on-the-ground experience? Join the Taxpayer Opportunity Network for a virtual coffee on November 18 to hear from leaders about their experiences and discuss tips for overcoming common challenges and building a strong foundation for your program. Virtual coffees are meant to be informal virtual events to hear from presenters and then engage in discussion with your peers.
- Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
Thursday, October 22, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Volunteers are at the core of any VITA program. But how does a VITA program get the right number of volunteers? What are the best recruitment methods? Where can the right volunteers be found? And once someone becomes a VITA volunteer, how can an organization keep her on board and entice her to return the following year? Join the Taxpayer Opportunity Network and CFED on Thursday, October 22 from 2-3 pm EDT for Volunteer Recruitment and Retention, a virtual training in which experienced volunteer managers from successful VITA programs will share tips, insights and examples to help you build and grow your program.
- ACA and VITA Integration
Thursday, October 1, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers many opportunities for those without health insurance to obtain coverage, and community tax programs are uniquely positioned to facilitate expanded coverage options. What have tax programs been able to accomplish in the first years of ACA implementation? What are the opportunities for the next open enrollment period and tax filing season?
- Financial Capability at the Tax Moment: Savings and Other Strategies
September 24, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Join leading practitioners, researchers and experts as they discuss how to build financial capability at tax time, including where we've been, what we’ve learned along the way and how you can access tools to support your efforts for integrating financial capability into the tax prep moment. Guest presenters will join us from the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Doorways to Dreams Fund.
- Values-Based Messaging: Communicating for Success
September 17, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Assets & Opportunity Network Leader Neighborhood Partnerships presents on the art of values-based messaging. Coupling cognitive and cultural sciences with focus groups and polling, Neighborhood Partnerships has developed a unique approach to advocacy campaigns.
- Virtaul Coffee: Let's Talk About Off-Season Tax Services
September 17 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Are you struggling with developing the right messaging to engage new partners and allies in your advocacy campaign? Are you looking for strategies to increase the effectiveness of your messaging in a challenging political climate? If so, join Neighborhood Partnerships, an Assets & Opportunity Network Leader, on September 18 at 3 pm EDT to learn about the art of values-based messaging. Coupling cognitive and cultural sciences with focus groups and polling, Neighborhood Partnerships has developed a unique approach to advocacy campaigns.
During this hour-long learning event, Janet Byrd, the Executive Director of Neighborhood Partnerships, will discuss their campaign successes, walk attendees through their unique approach, and help attendees understand and identify strategies to change how your message is received.
- Network Briefing: From Upside Down to Right-Side Up
Wednesday, May 27 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Learn more about “From Upside Down to Right-Side Up”—a report that provides an overview of wealth inequality in the United States and outlines solutions to ensure tax spending supports economic mobility for all households. This briefing—led by Ezra Levin, Associate Director of Government Affairs at CFED—addressed answers to the following questions:
- How has wealth inequality grown in the United States in recent decades, and where do we stand today?
- How has the federal tax system contributed to growing inequality, and what are the basic reforms needed to build a more equitable tax code?
- How can you join the effort to turn the tax code “right side up”?
- Using Free Online Tax Filing to Provide Filing Options during End of Season Rush and Post-Filing Season
April, 3 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Many tax sites will see a rush of last minute taxpayers as the filing deadline approaches. On Friday, April 3rd panelists discussed options for using free online self-preparation as an alternative for taxpayers when tax site capacity is limited. Utilizing free online filing options can be a great way to stretch your limited tax preparation capacity and focus preparation assistance on the taxpayers who need help with prior year returns and other more complex issues.
Topics discussed included:
- Which returns are eligible to be filed online?
- Options for filing extensions
- When is the last day taxpayers can file online?
- Ideas about helping taxpayers complete returns online post-season
- Current Tax Prep FAQS:
Responses to Taxpayer Opportunity Network Members' Most Pressing Questions
March 25, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Designed for tax preparation service providers with input from Taxpayer Opportunity Network members, this webinar will review the basics of four essential tax-time topics. Author of the Tax Prep Dispatch, Barbara DelBene, and Thomas Larson, Self-Employment Manager at Prepare + Prosper, will discuss:
- Schedule C & C-EZ Self-employment Organizers: How and when to use them, tips and tricks.
- Nonemployee Compensation: Is it a business, a hobby or something else?
- Pension Income: How to proceed when the taxable amount is not determined
- Penalty Abatement: Is there a way to get penalties abated? How? What is the strategy?
- Telling Taxpayer Stories
March 3, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
Telling Taxpayer Stories, a virtual training where experts from The Hatcher Group and Tax Credits for Working Families offered tips, insights and examples for how to best detect, capture and share taxpayer stories to increase awareness and support of VITA in your community.
- ACA and Taxes Part II: Your Questions, Answered
February 26, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
In Part II of our series on the ACA and Taxes, Stefanie Costello -- Health Insurance Specialist with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services -- answered some of the most challenging questions facing preparers this tax season.
Presented by the Taxpayer Opportunity Network, this webinar will cover ACA topics including:
- Applying for exemptions.
- Applying to medicaid (year round).
- Special enrollment periods.
- How to use your health insurance.
- Talking to Taxpayers
February 10, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation | Webinar Recording
This webinar was designed to provide key lessons and tips for improving interaction with taxpayers. Long-time field experts addressed how it feels to be a taxpayer and what we can do to improve their experience, how we can better build rapport with clients, how to use Form 13614-C (Intake/Interview & Quality Review sheet), the importance of a good client interview and interviewing tips, and common mistakes volunteers make when speaking to clients and how we can help them develop good interviewing skills.
- ACA and Taxes: Resources for VITA and Other Social Service Providers
Thursday, January 15, 2015 | Webinar Recording | PowerPoint Presentation
Taxpayers often come to tax sites without health insurance or not knowing whether they have it or how to access it. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there will be lots of questions that VITA volunteers and other social service providers will want to be able to answer. On Janaury 15, the Assets & Opportunity Network and Taxpayer Opportunity Network hosted the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for “ACA and Taxes: Resources for VITA and other social service providers” webinar on Thursday, January 15 from 1-2 pm EST. During the webinar, panelists discussed tools, resources and training opportunities to help VITA volunteers and others address taxpayer questions as they relate to health insurance and the ACA.
- Consent to Use and Consent to Disclose Tax Return Information: Model Practices Related to Regulation 7216
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | PowerPoint Presentation
Gaining appropriate permission to share taxpayer information or contacting the taxpayer regarding anything not related to the current years’ tax return is governed by Regulation 7216. It’s critical for tax preparation programs and organizations collecting and using data from tax sites to understand these regulations, the permissions you need to collect and how to develop appropriate consent forms. The Taxpayer Opportunity Network is excited to host Steve Holt for “Consent to Use and Consent to Disclose Tax Return Information: Model Practices Related to Regulation 7216” on January 13 to present this important information.
- Understanding EITC Outreach + Tools and Tips for Using Traditional and New Media
Thursday, January 8, 2015 | Webinar Recording | PowerPoint Presentation
During this webinar, you’ll learn from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities what tax credit outreach is and why it is important. You’ll also hear about tools, resources,and tips you can incorporate into your outreach and messaging this tax season. This webinar features staff from AFI Grantee and Assets & Opportunity Network Lead Organization Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB), who will share lessons, tips and experiences with operating a local EITC outreach campaign and incorporating new media into their EITC outreach efforts.
- Tax Time Savings: Tools to Help Promote Savings this Tax Season
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 | Webinar Recording | PowerPoint Presentation
During this webinar, you’ll hear from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Doorways to Dreams Fund about tools and resources that can help taxpayers learn about savings opportunities at tax time. These tools can help tax preparers, volunteers and others educate taxpayers about savings opportunities. You’ll also learn about “Save Your Refund,” a national program that you can leverage to offer savings incentives at tax sites.