Asian woman wearing eyeglasses holding her 2 toddlers on her lap. One in a green shirt, one in a white shirt with colorful designs.

In Her Own Words
Meet Tax Prep Volunteer Dung Pham

Blog

What keeps you coming back to volunteer with the Free Tax Program year after year?

I have participated in the Free Tax Prep Program for four tax seasons from 2017 to 2020. I started when I was a second-semester student at Sierra College. As an Accounting student, my goal was to learn and get practical experience about Federal and State tax, the course I will take next semester.

However, after the first tax season, I fell in love with this program for three reasons:

It does not take much time.
I only volunteer for around three months with a flexible schedule, so I still have time to do other works.

I can get practical experience about tax rules which are related to everyone.
Everyone has the responsibility to claim tax, so it is good to understand and know how to prepare and follow all the tax rules. I also learn how to search tax information and how to communicate effectively with clients and peers.

I feel happy when I can support many people who need help.
VITA program aims to support low-income households. VITA’s goals are to help low-income people save tax preparation fees and get tax legal tax returns. I can see clients’ happiness when they get the tax returns over their expectations. 

Why should others join you as a volunteer?

There are many reasons! (Here are my main three)

  1. Learning opportunities and skill-building
    Through the many professional training courses and tax experts, we learn about tax rules and how to apply them in each case.
  2. Support our community.
    We can help low-income people save tax fees and help them to get their eligible tax returns.
  3. Build a job connection network.
    Within the Free Tax Prep volunteer community, we share experiences from each special case, update tax rules, and prevent tax errors. This community will be our job connection and will support us in the future. tax rules. I also learn how to search for information and how to communicate effectively with clients and peers. – I feel happy when I can support many people who need help. VITA program aims to support low-income people. VITA’s goals are to help low-income people save tax preparation fees and get tax legal tax returns. I can see clients’ happiness when they get the tax returns over their expectations.

 What does giving back mean to you?

There are my definitions of success, strength, and happiness. I believe success is a contribution. If you succeed and keep the benefits of your success for yourself, it is only value for yourself. If you contribute to society, the value of your success will increase many times. Strong is not how big I can do; it is how many people I can help. A strong person can be counted by how many things I can help others or how many people I can lift on my shoulder. And happiness is sharing. The happiness of giving is bigger than the happiness of receiving. I am a person who received much support from the Placer County community, so I defined I have the responsibility of giving back to our community. Giving back is also the way I show my strength, the levels of my success, and how I am seeking happiness in my life.

Anything else you’d like to add?

In my situation, I immigrated to the US in 2014, being a volunteer helps me to adapt to the new environment. VITA’s training courses make me go straight into tax responsibility which is significant to everyone. – I also get an advantage in applying for the job after four tax season volunteers. VITA’s volunteer profile gives me the benefit of the job application. I state my experience of four tax season volunteers. Now, I have just got the job as Accountant I, Specialist in California Highway Patrol (CHP). I believed one of the reasons that helped me gain this job is the strong recommendation from the VITA.

 

If you’re inspired to become a volunteer, click here to sign up!