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Neighborhood Centers Trains Volunteers To Help Houston Residents Prepare Tax Returns

Since 2009 and in collaboration with the IRS, Neighborhood Centers has implemented a class that teaches regular citizens how to prepare the 1040 tax return.


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Alba Hernandez teaches the first session of the tax preparation course organized by Neighborhood Centers in Houston for the upcoming tax season.
Al Ortiz
Alba Hernandez (right) teaches the first session of the tax preparation course organized by Neighborhood Centers.

The 2016 tax season starts next month and Houston-based Neighborhood Centers wants to help more people file their returns at no charge.

With that goal in mind, the group started a training program.

IRS Agent Alba Hernandez is one of the instructors of the tax preparation class. This is the seventh year Neighborhood Centers is training volunteers.

After three weeks, the volunteers will be certified by the IRS to prepare 1040s – the basic type of tax return.

Hernandez has collaborated as an instructor since the beginning of the class in 2009.

"I’ve had a lot of people who have started their own tax businesses or who have joined a CPA firm,” Hernandes said. “Some of them are students who are learning, you know, trying to learn more about tax.”

The volunteers will prepare the tax returns for free at 12 locations that Neighborhood Centers will operate across Greater Houston from January until April 18th.

Awa Diawara is a 31 year old legal assistant from Mali who works at a local law firm. She is a first year volunteer and is thrilled about the class.

“I want new challenges. I want to learn new stuff,” Diawara said.

The goal of Neighborhood Centers is to train as many as 500 volunteers for the upcoming tax season.

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