January 9, 2017

For Trainers

Hello valued EKS Trainers!

Below you will find a host of materials that will hopefully make your training and instruction easier. Why re-create the wheel?!

 

2016-2017 Scenario-Based Training (SBT)

This teaching method combines the learning of tax law and software into one integrated course and was initially developed in response to feedback from volunteers who wanted more software practice from the get-go. Teaching software alongside the tax law allows volunteers more time to get comfortable with input and navigation, in addition to using their Pub. 4012 as a resource during preparation. SBT highlights the importance of certain topics like must file v. should file, determining filing status, determining dependency, taxable v. non-taxable income – and puts that learning immediately into practice during preparation of scenarios representative of what is typically seen at the tax sites. SBT also teaches to Advanced certification since the majority of sites need this type of tax preparer.

 

Instructor Resources

Can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_Rbo9AfEz8LSWEtNWIzNlNFRmc

Within our online folder referenced above, you can download all of the following:

  • Suggested SBT Training Schedule – An outline for timing how you can break the class schedule down into bite-size chunks.
  • Instructor Manual 3.0
  • Getting Started Slide Deck
  • Scenario content at a glance – A list of tax topics covered by each scenario
  • TaxSlayer login instructions – Screenshots for how someone can get started in creating an account in TaxSlayer
  • All 5 Scenarios Combined (interview notes and tax documents)
  • Training Evaluation Survey: HERE – We are doing a paper survey this year to get more feedback about how training can improve. Print this and hand it out as the exit ticket for your class. Collect all sheets and mail to UWBA (Attn: Benson Lai, 1400 Parkmoor Avenue, Suite 250, San Jose, CA 95126) so we have feedback to work with for next season.
  • Scenario 1
    • Scenario 1 Slide Deck – Updated on 12.29.2016 with 2016 answers
    • Instructor Lesson Plan – Scenario 1
    • Interview Notes and Tax Documents
    • Completed 1040 – Updated on 12.16.2016 with 2016 answers

  • Scenario 2
    • Scenario 2 Slide Deck – Updated on 12.29.2016 with 2016 answers
    • Instructor Lesson Plan – Scenario 2
    • Interview Notes and Tax Documents
    • Completed 1040 – Updated on 12.16.2016 with 2016 answers

  • Scenario 3
    • Scenario 3 Slide Deck – Updated on 12.16.2016 with 2016 answers
    • Instructor Lesson Plan – Scenario 3
    • Interview Notes and Tax Documents
    • Completed 1040 – Updated on 12.16.2016 with 2016 answers

  • Scenario 4
    • Scenario 4 Slide Deck – Updated on 12.16.2016 with 2016 answers
    • Instructor Lesson Plan – Scenario 4
    • Interview Notes and Tax Documents
    • Completed 1040 – Updated on 12.16.2016 with 2016 answers

  • Scenario 5
    • Scenario 5 Slide Deck – Updated on 01.03.2017 with 2016 answers
    • Instructor Lesson Plan – Scenario 5
    • Scenario 5 (interview and tax documents) – Revised on 01.03.2017
    • Completed 1040 – Need to prepare with recent revisions – please stay tuned!

 

TRAINERS- Are you experiencing TaxSlayer issues before OR during class?

We strong recommend testing the software the day AND morning before your scheduled class time. That way you can contact TaxSlayer in advance with any problems. Here’s what to do if the system is not operational:

  1. CHECK THE TAXSLAYER BLOG FIRST. Take a look at the TaxSlayer Pro VITA Blog to see if TaxSlayer has made any recent posts about issues it is currently working to resolve.
  2. CALL AND EMAIL TAXSLAYER. View this TaxSlayer Help Desk document PDF to get the email address and phone number for TaxSlayer support for trainers. You will need your site’s SIDN to reach a live person over the phone. (NOTE: EKS team has twice emailed AND called TaxSlayer 2 hours before class began on a Saturday. The TaxSlayer Support Squad was very responsive and got things up and running by the time class started.)
    • Sample email/phone starter: Hi, this is ______ from _________ VITA training site in California. We are teaching class today starting in X hours and the Practice Lab is not operational. This is the issue: (give detailed issue / error here).
    • Other questions you can ask in email/phone: Are you aware of this issue? Is someone working on it? Do you happen to have an estimated time of fix? Is there anything we can do in the meantime? Will you be writing a blog post about this?
    • Despite frustrations, strive to remain polite in all communications with TaxSlayer.

  3. HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. If you have done both of the above steps and the software system isn’t working, be prepared with a back-up plan for what to do during training.

 

IRS Publications:

 

Oct. 2016 Train-the-Trainer

 

Other training resources

Check out the Training Resources webpage we created for volunteers. Let us know if you would to see something added there!