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Author: lorenzo2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 124141  
Subject: Re: VITA Certification Date: 1/13/2009 2:23 PM
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I'm with the AARP/TaxAide program, which is kinda like VITA: we receive the VITA materials, take the VITA test, get certified by the IRS, etc. And the annual letter of appreciation I get from the IRS says nice things about service to the community through SPEC, VITA and TCE. This is from the AARP/TaxAide Policy Manual:

The Introduction and Administrative Guidelines of the IRS Volunteer Assistor’s Guide states that volunteers are not legally liable under federal law for the returns that they prepare. The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 (S.543) provides that certified volunteers are not liable for harm caused by an act or omission if they’re acting within the scope of their responsibilities and the harm was not willful.

A corollary to this could be that we might possibly be liable for harm caused if we act out of scope or if the harm is willful. And in any case, our "scope" is clearly defined: Sch C-EZ but not Sch C; no rental income; no non-cash contributions over $500 (and hence no 8283); no business returns; and a host of others things we're not supposed to tackle. (That willful harm gives me pause, however ...)

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