IRS News Release  
September 19, 1990

Seventeen Volunteer Individuals &
Organizations Honored

WASHINGTON - At a ceremony here marking the 20th anniversary of IRS-sponsored volunteer programs, the Internal Revenue Service today honored 17 individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to volunteer programs to help taxpayers.

In remarks at the ceremony, Commissioner Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. noted that IRS volunteers have a long tradition of helping those most in need, including low-income and elderly individuals and people with disabilities.

Among those honored today were:

  • A woman who, with her staff of 25 other volunteers, helped more than 3,800 taxpayers prepare their returns this year in the Pittsburgh area;
  • California State University at Northridge, which has more than 90 multilingual volunteers who help taxpayers in a variety of languages, and
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where instructor and student volunteers have offered free tax assistance to the community since 1965.

This past filing season marked the 20th anniversary of the IRS's commitment to provide help to taxpayers through the efforts of volunteers.

Each year specially trained volunteers provide tax information, hand out tax forms and publications, answer tax questions, help owners of small businesses and help taxpayers complete basic tax returns -- all free of charge. In 1990 over 80,000 volunteers helped 8 million taxpayers, including the 4 million high school students participating in the Understanding Taxes program.

IRS-sponsored volunteer programs began in the 1970 filing season when 7,500 volunteers helped about 100,000 taxpayers as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA. In 1990, VITA volunteers alone helped over 1.2 million taxpayers.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or TCE, was set up in 1978 to help taxpayers age 60 and over. Like VITA volunteers, they work in neighborhood locations such as shopping malls, churches and community centers. TCE volunteers also visit retirement homes and hospitals and visit people who are homebound. In 1990, TCE volunteers alone helped almost 1.3 million taxpayers.

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