Faces of Success: Jean Barte
Taxes have always been a big part of Jean Barte’s life.
“I’ve prepared them for many years,” said Barte, who is a retired certified public accountant (CPA). “I enjoy studying tax laws and always stay updated on changes.”
Barte’s wife recently came across a social media advertisement about volunteer opportunities with United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free Tax Prep program. The VITA Free Tax Prep program provides free income tax preparation to individuals and families who qualify based on income. The chance to help others was too good to pass up.
“This opportunity was right up my alley; I went through VITA training and really enjoyed it.”
Last year, Jean was one of more than 250 IRS-certified volunteers at 38 sites across Middle Tennessee — including nine locations in Davidson County — who help hardworking individuals and families save money on the cost of tax preparation fees this year.
“I enjoy working with people; I feel like each person that I sit down with and help is a friend of mine.”
Last year, 15,000 clients had their taxes prepared for free through the VITA Free Tax Prep program and received more than $28 million in refunds and tax preparation fee savings. Barte understands and appreciates the difference his volunteer work can make for a family in need.
“When I see a family struggling because of income, it means so much to me when we can get them a nice refund. It’s great to see the smiles on their faces.”
Barte encourages qualified individuals and families to utilize the VITA Free Tax Prep program to file their tax returns. It’s a great opportunity to simplify the entire process.
“With some of the new tax laws, many people who try to prepare their own tax returns might not receive all of the benefits that are available to them. I would encourage clients to use this program because it is easy; you’ll get your tax returns prepared and filed and receive your refund within weeks.”
Volunteers are what make this program possible. We need tax preparers, screeners, site assistants and quality reviewers. You don’t need tax experience, just computer skills and a willingness to volunteer. Training and IRS-certification are provided by United Way.
Go to www.volunteerforvita.org for details.