Becoming a volunteer

There are three primary charities in the UK where tax specialist advisers can give a little back to the community by using their tax knowledge to help people on low incomes.

Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

As can be seen from a review of this website, LITRG’s work is varied, but we must stress that LITRG is not an advice agency and does not offer telephone or face-to-face help to members of the public. If you wish to volunteer to help individuals, TaxAid or Tax Help for Older People (details below) are the organisations to contact.

Nonetheless, LITRG’s activities do rely heavily on volunteers. Our primary purpose is to educate the world at large about the impact of tax law in the UK on the lives of the low income population. We collect evidence of that impact and recommend changes in the law and administration of taxes to improve the lives of those on low incomes.

To achieve these aims, some of our main activities are:

  • writing articles and assisting the press and media in getting tax information out to the general public
  • providing information and educational materials on this main website and various linked project sites
  • researching and producing reports on tax and related issues affecting low-income, unrepresented taxpayers, then using them to influence change
  • responding to a wide-range of consultations on tax and related matters affecting those on low incomes
  • providing briefings to Members of Parliament
  • working closely with numerous other organisations, mostly within the voluntary and charitable sector
  • Running training workshops for other voluntary organisations who want to now more about tax so they can support their clients.

The majority of people associated with LITRG are volunteers. They provide support on consultation groups, in research, in writing and just generally helping out the small core team which runs LITRG. Volunteers operate from their homes or from the premises of sympathetic employers. You can volunteer from anywhere in the world.

Our volunteers have a range of experience, from the tax profession (both practice and former HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) staff) to those without a tax background but a keen interest in helping low-income people to understand their financial situation – for example, those working in the general voluntary sector advice field who have come across the complexities of tax and benefits interactions.

Most volunteers stay with LITRG for the longer term, but a commitment of three to four years from new volunteers is helpful in terms of experience and continuity. We may also have shorter term opportunities for volunteers keen on contributing to report research or project work which is self-contained.

In return for volunteering for LITRG, we hope you will achieve personal satisfaction and interesting experience for career development, or perhaps the chance to make a difference in retirement using the valuable knowledge you have gained during your paid working life.

If you are interested in volunteering then just send details of your experience and what interests you in helping out via our Contact page. We cannot guarantee that we will have volunteering roles available.

Being committed to equality of opportunity, we welcome any expressions of interest although we regret that we may not be able to offer all potential volunteers a place with us if we do not have suitable work with which to involve you.

TaxAid

TaxAid runs a national telephone helpline service and face-to-face advice sessions in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle. They provide free and independent advice, assistance and advocacy to people who need help with tax or tax debt. They can help with problems about tax allowances, PAYE codes, tax arrears, self-employment, tax returns and HMRC administration and complaints.

You are encouraged to look at their website before contacting them by telephone or email.

Their contact details are:

TaxAid
Room 304
Linton House
164 – 180 Union Street
London
SE1 0LH

Website: www.taxaid.org.uk
E-mail: info [at] taxaid.org.uk
Tel: 0845 120 3779 (Mon to Thurs 10am to 12 noon)

TaxHelp for Older People

TaxHelp for Older People is a free confidential service providing tax advice for people over 60 on low incomes (less than £20,000 p.a.) who cannot afford to employ a professional tax adviser. They have over 500 volunteers throughout the UK.

They provide advice over the telephone but they also provide face-to-face help at local offices of bodies such as Age UK or Citizens Advice Bureau. Home visits are made if clients are disabled.

Their contact details are:

TaxHelp for Older People
Pineapple Business Park
Salway Ash
Bridport
Dorset
DT6 5DB

Website: www.taxvol.org.uk
E-mail: taxvol [at] taxvol.org.uk
Helpline: 0845 601 3321 or 01308 488 066 (Mon to Thurs 9am to 5pm and Fri 9am to 4.30pm)

Other opportunities

Tax lawyers can look for specific opportunities to volunteer in the pro bono legal community. More information can be found on the website of ProBonoUK.

Although Citizens Advice do not provide a specialist tax advisory service, sometimes there are opportunities to help in your local Bureau. More information can be found on their website.

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