Chin Lee: Super VITA Volunteer

Apr 3, 2014

by. Jerico Paguio

"It's a good excuse to leave work," Chin Lee jokes, when asked why he returned for a second year as a VITA volunteer.

Once a week (when he's not at work) you'll find Chin at the Asian Resource Center, preparing tax returns with EBALDC's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In addition to providing tax assistance, Chin serves as a translator for Cantonese speaking clients.  This additional capacity gives Chin the ability to better connect with non-English speaking clients also helps them more fully understand their tax returns.

Offering translation assistance isn’t the only way Chin has gone above and beyond for VITA.  Every VITA volunteer must complete four hours of training to become an IRS Certified Tax Preparer. Chin fulfilled the basic training during his first year with VITA, but this year he took on an extra challenge.  He enrolled in further training to become certified as an Advanced Tax Preparer, which qualifies him to prepare more complex tax returns. 

A growing number of companies encourage their employees to give back to the community.  Chin’s employer, Salesforce, is a good example.  Salesforce employees are entitled to 6 days of paid time off for volunteer projects of their choice as part of the company’s 1/1/1 model. In addition, employees can also apply for a cash mini grant for to the organization where they volunteered.

Chin has volunteered at other places but says VITA is different. "You see the clients face to face, you see the appreciation." He adds, "I leave feeling happy I was able to help." 

 

As of the date of this publication, Chin and other VITA volunteers have processed over 1,000 returns resulting in $1.6 million in refunds.  Learn more about our VITA program at this link:  http://www.ebaldc.org/volunteer-income-tax-assistance-program-vita.