What do you do during the summer after tax season ends? It’s a question we get all the time at Prepare + Prosper. My answer is always taxes, a lot of taxes, among planning and running our other programs like Money Mentors and FAIR.

Many may not realize that we offer free tax preparation and financial services well after the April 15 (or this year April 18) deadline. Who’s filing taxes in the summer you might be wondering? The answer is people with back years’ taxes to do, amendments to tax returns, letters from the IRS, property tax returns that are due on August 15, and then people who weren’t required to file income taxes by the April 15. It’s a little-known fact that if you’re due a refund, you aren’t penalized if you don’t file by Tax Day.

Come April each year, we recruit an additional team of volunteer tax preparers, tax site specialists, and financial advocates for our tax clinics during the summer and fall.

As we look to recruit 60 new volunteers, I share our top 10 list of reason to volunteer at Prepare + Prosper’s tax clinics.

1. Make a difference. Through volunteering you are helping people in your community better their financial situation and build a brighter future. You are providing free and quality services that many people don’t have access or sometimes pay exorbitant fees for.

2. Build your skills. Gain or enhance skills and knowledge in the areas of tax, finances, problem solving, and customer service.

3. Embrace your geekiness. We all geek over something, whether that’s a love for numbers, problem solving, navigating systems and procedures, the tax code, credit reports, or simply meeting new people. Join us and share what you geek out about.

4. Have fun. We provide a passionate, energetic, and community-oriented place to volunteer. Game night, happy hours, appreciation and networking events, contests, and volunteer shout-outs are all part of the gig!

5. Meet people. You’ll meet and get to know your fellow volunteers as well as the people receiving service. You’ll learn about and have conversations with people you otherwise wouldn’t engage with.

6. Improve your resume. Not only is volunteering your time good for the community, but studies also show that volunteers have a 27% higher likelihood of finding a job than non-volunteers.

7. See the immediate impact of your work. One hour of your work can put an average of $2,000 in someone’s pocket. Tax refunds add up to 40% of one’s income.

8. Camaraderie. Work with a team to accomplish something big–on average each year we serve 13,000 people and return $25 million in refunds, of which nearly $2 million is saved for the future. The community we create around our volunteer team and what they accomplish together is something we are proud of.

9. Get service learning hours or an internship. Students are a large part of our volunteer team every year and we want you to get the most out of your experience. We are happy to create an experience that goes past the typical weekly commitment.

10. No tax experience is needed. We have volunteer opportunities that don’t require tax knowledge.

To learn more or apply to volunteer, visit our website or contact me at kelly@prepareandprosper.org or 651-262-2163.