Volunteer
Positions

Tax Preparer


Volunteer tax preparers work one-on-one with clients, preparing federal and state income tax returns and providing basic counseling on tax law and credits. Our 15 community-based tax sites operate during the traditional January-April tax season, while Progress on the Go events and Money Action Day tax sites have available volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Time Commitment

During the traditional January-April tax season, the suggested commitment is serving one shift per week after completing training. Scheduling is flexible; sites generally operate on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Progress on the Go and Money Action Day tax sites operate periodically throughout the year.

Training

Mandatory training is a mix of online and classroom learning for new tax preparers, and exclusively online for returning preparers. Online training is self-paced, and will take 3-7 hours to complete, based on returning status. New tax preparers must attend a 3-hour in-person class, usually offered in January and early February, to learn how to apply tax law and use our tax preparation software. Annual certification is required, and we provide support to help you be successful!

Required Skills

No tax experience is necessary. Basic computer proficiency is helpful.

Next Steps

Online registration and training for the 2019 tax season is open between mid-November and early April. Interested in volunteering? Click this link and leave us your email address: when registration and training opens, you'll be the first to know! If you need assistance, contact Volunteer Engagement at volunteer@economicprogress.org or (312) 630-0288.


 

Tax Site Specialist

This administrative volunteer position is crucial to the smooth operation of the tax sites and our Progress on the Go mobile financial unit. Working on client intake and on the final sorting process, a Tax Site Specialist helps clients complete the intake form, makes copies, and files documents. Often the first people that clients see, these volunteers welcome them, give an overview of the tax prep process, and help make the actual preparation process flow smoothly. Bilingual volunteers are especially helpful in this role.

Time Commitment

During the traditional January-April tax season, the suggested commitment is serving one shift per week after completing training. Scheduling is flexible; sites generally operate on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Progress on the Go and Money Action Day tax sites operate periodically throughout the year.

Training

Training for the Tax Site Specialist is exclusively online, with an optional Site Orientation session based on the tax site location you choose. Online training is completely self-paced, and typically takes 3-4 hours to complete.

Required Skills

No prior experience is necessary. However, successful volunteers enjoy interacting with others and making them feel at ease. Bilingual skills are especially helpful.

Next Steps

Online registration and training for the 2019 tax season is open between mid-November and early April. Interested in volunteering? Click this link and leave us your email address: when registration and training opens, you'll be the first to know! If you need assistance, contact Volunteer Engagement at volunteer@economicprogress.org or (312) 630-0288. 

Savings Coach

Savings Coaches serve at our community tax sites and on our Progress on the Go mobile financial unit. Leveraging the tax moment, Savings Coaches engage both individuals and groups to educate them on the importance of savings and the various vehicles that exist to assist them in meeting future financial needs and goals.

Time Commitment

During the traditional January-April tax season, the suggested commitment is serving one shift per week after completing training. Scheduling is flexible; sites generally operate on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Progress on the Go and Money Action Day tax sites operate at scheduled sessions periodically throughout the year.

Training

Training for the Savings Coach position is exclusively online, with an optional Site Orientation session based on the tax site location you choose. Online training is completely self-paced, and typically takes 3-4 hours to complete.

Required Skills

No previous experience is necessary. However, an outgoing personality, the ability to initiate conversations, and an interest in helping people understand the value of savings are key to success as a Savings Coach.

Next Steps

Online registration and training for the 2019 tax season is open between mid-November and early April. Interested in volunteering? Click this link and leave us your email address: when registration and training opens, you'll be the first to know! If you need assistance, contact Volunteer Engagement at volunteer@economicprogress.org or (312) 630-0288. 

Financial Coach

Financial Coaches are paired up with individual members of the Project Money program, helping them to set and achieve well-defined financial goals, as well as to identify obstacles to achieving those goals and strategies for overcoming them.

Time Commitment

We ask our Financial Coaches to make a commitment of one coaching group. This consists of six coaching sessions and a program completion event. Project Money groups are held in summer and fall and meet every other Tuesday OR Thursday from 6pm-7:30pm at CEP Headquarters, 567 W Lake Street.

Training

Accepted financial coaches must attend two days of in-person training at CEP Headquarters, 567 W Lake Street. This year we will be hosting two training sessions:

  • June 16th and June 30th (10am-4pm)
  • August 18th and August 25th (10am-4pm)

Required Skills

We are looking for volunteers who demonstrate empathy, an understanding of the financial challenges facing low- to moderate-income adults, the ability to motivate others, and a willingness to learn how to coach people on goals related to building savings, reducing debt, managing daily expenses, and/or improving credit.

Next Steps

Apply today! Applicants should expect to attend a group interview. If you have any questions, contact Volunteer Engagement at volunteer@economicprogress.org or (312)630-0288.

Credit Geek

Credit Geeks provide credit coaching to participants at Money Action Day events and on our "Progress on the Go" mobile unit.

Time Commitment

As a Credit Geek, we ask that you commit to a minimum of three shifts throughout the year. Currently scheduled opportunities include our Money Action Days, which will be held at CEP Headquarters, 567 W Lake Street, 2nd Floor. These events will resume after the tax season, beginning in May. Credit Geeks may also volunteer at special Progress on the Go events held throughout the year in different communities.

Training

Credit Geeks must attend an in-person training held at CEP Headquarters, 567 W Lake Street. This year we are hosting two In-person training sessions:

  • Thursday, April 26th (10am-1pm)
  • Saturday, July 14th (10am-1pm)

Required Skills

No prior experience is necessary.

Next Steps

Online registration is currently open! Sign up today. If you have any questions, contact Volunteer Engagement at volunteer@economicprogress.org or (312) 630-0288.

Legal Clinic Representative

Pro bono professionals represent income-qualified clients on federal and state income tax issues as Legal Clinic Representatives. The spectrum of services might include preparing and filing amended returns through representing clients in tax court.

Time Commitment

The time commitment is flexible, and telecommuting is available. Volunteers may complete cases from their home or office and can take on cases according to their availability.

Training

On-the-job training and special sessions are provided by our staff attorney.

Required Skills

CPAs, attorneys, and Enrolled Agents are eligible to take cases. Typically, experience with tax representation is a requirement. We are able to provide training at select times of the year.

Next Steps

Interested professionals can submit this form to esternberg@economicprogress.org at any time. If approved, we will keep you on our contact list to receive cases. When we have an eligible case, we will offer it to volunteers with appropriate skill sets.