Instructor Meeting FAQs

Anything in TS for those who did not get stimulus payments?:
Although it has not yet been added to TaxSlayer, there will be an entry for adjustments to Economic Impact Payments. Recovery Rebate Credit Eligible taxpayers who received a smaller-than-expected Economic Impact Payment (EIP) may qualify to receive an additional amount when they file their 2020 federal income tax return. EIPs are technically an advance payment of a new temporary tax credit (recovery rebate credit) that eligible taxpayers can claim on their 2020 return.

Scope: Individual sites can opt out or not use a specific scope item from the national scope list. For example, a site may decide not to accept stock sales from a brokerage statement. More flexibility is allowed with Friends and Family returns, but these returns must still be Quality Reviewed.

Why are 1985 divorces out of scope? – pre 1985 alimony is a recapture of income issue. A worksheet is available in Pub 504.

Personal computers vs AARP/IRS computers? If we’re working virtually?
AARP issued Chromebooks and only Chromebooks must be used when entering any specific, identifiable taxpayer information. Practice lab, meetings, training, may all be done on your personal computer.

Is any additional security required to use Chromebooks?
There is information in blue tech folder in the Portal for answers- basically, you should connect via ethernet to a router with a private password that has been established by the standards listed

What if your home router doesn’t have ethernet?chromebook doesn’t have an ethernet jack
If you have questions about or perhaps aren’t sure how your home internet is set up, please contact your DC, or Jim Graff, Tech Specialist or Rich Schlesinger, Assist Tech Specialist

RE: volunteer accounts – What if a husband & wife have a joint aarp account?
This may cause problems if not set up correctly by members services (national). Contact Alicia for further details to ensure the accounts are correctly labeled.

RE: volunteer accounts – Do we have to include our maiden name if it is on our driver’s license? Or can we use a middle initial?
Alicia’s recommendation is to use the maiden name if the field is large enough, otherwise, use middle initial

Must Client Facilitators use the Portal?
yes

RE: LMS and L&L – Please explain LMS and L&L and how you find them
LMS is the Learning Management System available on the Volunteer Portal, under the Training tab (which is not currently live or posted); L&L is the Link & Learn system by IRS that we have used in the past. Current links may be found on AZ Tax-aide website on Training & TaxSlayer page, Training Manuals and Programs button.

So everyone needs to really take all tests on LMS. Do they need to have new passwords? UserIDs?
Any volunteer may enter the portal with their usual user ID and password; then, when it becomes active, you will go to the Training tab email address volunteer number, same way get in to portal

I passed on L&L Do I have to take it again?
Yes, please do both. We are being told they are identical, so save your responses to take them on LMS.

You mean if you took all the L&L tests you have to go back and do the LMS also?
Basically, yes

they want the site coordinator test taken on LMS, only use L&L if not passing on LMS? –
correct

Why bother with L&L? –
As an instructor, you must have already passed at least 3 of the tests before starting your classes. Since we do not know when the LMS system will become available, passing the L&L tests now ensures that you have completed this requirement. The 3 necessary tests are: Volunteer Standards of Conduct, Policies & Procedures, and the Advanced Test.

It appears that the volunteer would need to send us an achievement report from LMS along with the volunteer agreement for certification. They would also need to send us what for the problems required?
Whomever does certification must track both of those, but there is no set way, as long as the information is registered and available

This is a real headache for those of us who certify to try to figure out if all the requirements for certification have been met if we can’t get a listing of who has passed what on the Portal.
It’s a work in progress (on the national level)

Is the goal to replace L & L with LMS?
Not in Alicia’s opinion

Can you just take site coordinator thru Land L?
All Local Coordinators should take their test through LMS

Is a Team Leader considered a Site Coordinator?
There is no official team leader position in the portal – if you are acting in place of the LC, you should be listed as shift coordinator

When will we have answers for required problems and where will they be posted on website?
National has not yet released the answers for the required problems, but they will be posted on the Instructors page of the website as soon as they become available.

What are required NTTC problems?
How do you grade the NTTC workbook proficiency problems?
Must the problems be 100% correct or 80% or ?
Tuesday morning discussion

Will tests taken on LMS qualify for continuing education credit or does one have to take the tests on Link n Learn to qualify
Information about continuing credits may be found in Pub 5362

VRC position requirement and training?
Wednesday morning discussion

RE: Online Teaching vs Face to Face Teaching
Remember: Mr. Rogers was one of the best teachers of all time.

And he did it all virtually.

Have confidence, enthusiasm, and engage with your students as equals.

Try not to simply read the PowerPoint presentations – add information by filling in details or expanding on the information presented by the slides.

Goggle Classroom – how to access or create? Need account?

Classroom.google.com  create or join a class  create a template?

Tax-Aide only supports using a gmail account to set up or use a Google Classroom. (This would be an account separate from the aarpfoundation.org account.

For a volunteer who has never used the portal, what are the credentials to get in?
All volunteers should already have an user id and password; use them to enter the portal. Another option might be the links that are available from the Chromebook or the AZ website.

RE: Amended returns:
E-filing of amended returns started in 2019. IRS had indicated that an amended return should only be filed if it creates more than a $200 change in the taxpayer’s AGI. If it fits all other criteria, we can efile a return that TaxAide did not originally efile. Note: If the taxpayer’s 2019 tax return rejects, and they receive an EIP check, be aware that IRS might have file a $0 2019 return for them – will need to be check.

ARIZONA SPECIFIC:

RE: Capital Gains entered on the AZ return

Capital gains after 2011 must be entered on AZ return (after entering on Federal)

To gain the AZ benefit, it must be entered separately in AZ return

RE: PTC

The AZ deadline for filing the AZ property tax credit is 4/15/20, unless the taxpayer files an Arizona extension form – then they can get extension of PTC

This year, to try to reach taxpayers who previous filed a PTC with us, LCs or EROs could run a report sorting by income to try to identify PTC receipents.

Tax-Aide is not offering to reimburse volunteers for pay postage fees or for the purchase of second monitors or cords.

The 8880 box credit is only allowable for voluntary retirement distributions.

Starting in 2019, AZ taxpayers can receive exclusions for both military and government pensions. (assuming they qualify for both)

Foreign/ state taxes, should be entered again on the AZ return, form 309

LTC premiums are deducted as an adjustment to AGI

RE: Site Delivery Models
COVID matrix table link: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=ad46e587a9134fcdb43ff54c16f8c39b

(used when determining which site model can be used)

In-Person Modified means the taxpayer is physically nearby their documents

AD Hoc sites – license will be the regular site EFIN

How does the taxpayer get the intake booklet & 14446?

Taxpayer will receive electronic permission form 14446 from the VRC, electronically.

The fillable intake is on the az tax-aide site. Can we also put a 1446 out there?

No, because the 14446 is not universal (as is intake form), 14446 is site specific.

One possibility might be to prepopulate the 14466 form and have a packet to give to taxpayers prior to appointment.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14446.pdf – fillable 14446 posted on IRS

Can the VRC move the scanned documents remotely or do they have to be on site?
The site VRC must be physically inputting on the Chromebook that is receiving/storing the scanned documents, so yes, they must be on site.

Once the documents are in the cloud who can access those files? Do they have to be assigned to a specific person?
Sent to team preparation area

If all team members have access, what prevents two people from taking the same return?
Once a SSN is listed on TaxSlayer, no one else can take that return

Will the TP scanned file be moved to the Preparer/ QR’s Google Drive?
Scanned documents will be connected with intake forms, return – TSO has capability –

When are scanners coming and are we getting a scanner for every site?
2,000 scanners are ordered – scanners per site not figured out

So you’re saying that the chromebook that scans the docs can point other team members to the docs, and only he could then delete them when they’re done. The counselors can only read the docs to process the return.
Basically correct

Do we have to scan in documents for “Family and Friends” returns
Mostly yes – because the QR will be done remotely and therefore documents need to be scanned to perform QR

VRC must have at least a Client Facilitator designation does not require Counselor designation

We use our own scheduling system. Can we turn off Session Manager for our site?

– Yes

Is there a Google Voice application where you could call the taxpayer via the Chromebook?
Google voice can be used

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