26 CFR § 601.803 - Program operations and requirements.

§ 601.803 Program operations and requirements.

(a) Objective. The objective of the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program is to provide free assistance in the preparation of Federal income tax returns to elderly taxpayers age 60 and over, by providing training, technical and administrative support to volunteers under the direction of non-profit agencies and organizations that have cooperative agreements with the Internal Revenue Service.

(b) Period of program operations. Most tax return preparation assistance will be provided to elderly taxpayers during the period for filing Federal income tax returns, from January 1 to April 15 each year. However, the program activities required to ensure elderly taxpayers efficient and quality tax assistance will normally be conducted year round. Program operations will generally be divided into the following segments each year: October - recruit volunteers; November and December - set training and testing schedules for volunteers, identify assistance sites, complete publicity plans for sites; December and January - train and test volunteers, set volunteer assistance schedules; January through May - provide tax assistance, conduct publicity for sites; May and June - prepare final reports and evaluate program; July and August - prepare for next year's program.

(c) Assistance requirements. All tax return preparation assistance provided under Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs must be provided free of charge to taxpayers and must be provided only to elderly individuals. An elderly individual is an individual age 60 or over at the close of the individual's taxable year with respect to which tax return preparation assistance is to be provided. Where a joint return is involved, assistance may be provided where only one spouse satisfies the 60 year age requirement.

(d) Training and testing of volunteers. Volunteers will normally be provided training and will normally be required to pass tests designed to measure their understanding of Federal tax subjects on which they will provide tax return assistance. Volunteers who do not receive a satisfactory score will not be eligible to participate in the program.

(e) Confidentiality of tax information. Program sponsors must obtain written assurance from all volunteers and all other individuals involved in the program, to respect the confidentiality of income and financial information known as a result of preparation of a return or of providing tax counseling assistance in the preparation of Federal income tax returns.