How to Train at Home to become a VITA Volunteer--see the steps below (there is also a PDF attached below with active links you can download with the same info)
Step One (ALL Volunteers):
Step Two (Tax Preparers, Reviewers & Coordinators): Become familiar with the tax forms, tax laws, and software.
Tax forms/Tax Laws:
Tips & Tricks for Taxslayer
Use the navigation tree on the left to move around quickly-- and the Search feature is really useful. Not sure where to enter a 1099-R? Type 1099R in the search engine twala! it appears. Try typing PIN, 1098t, etc. it's a very useful tool!
When you are reviewing the 1040 on the summary screen--the numbers that are blue will take you back to the screen where you entered them for quick review/editing and when you hit continue there it will take you back to the Summary!
After you enter information that generates a Schedule, you will see printer icons appear on the menu. Click on the printer icon to see what the generated schedule looks like. (Schedule C, Schedule D, Schedule A-itemized deductions, etc.) Great for quick reviews and for catching errors--seeing if your Schedule C is at a loss, etc.
PUB 4012 (Volunteer Handbook)
PUB 6744 Volunteer Test Book
PUB 4491 (Training Guide)
PUB 4491-X (Training Supplement-pages that have been updated after initial printing of PUB 4011, 4012, 4491, 6744, and more)
PUB 17 (general rules for filing a federal income tax return)
PUB 4011 (Foreign Student & Scholar Guide)
The 2019 1040 Layout
Here is what the IRS Landing Page for VITA/TCE Volunteers looks like. Certification log-in on the left; training modules and Practice Lab on the right
Downloadable PDF of Train at Home Document below
Step Three: (Tax Preparers, Reviewers & Coordinators)
You will be given PUB 4012 & PUB 6744 by your program manager once they come in mid-late November. However, they are available usually online mid-October to early November.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: I, Mary Meador, AM NOT a certified accountant or tax law expert. I volunteer with VITA providing free tax preparation for individuals and families whose income is less than $66,000 a year. We deal with simple returns at our sites. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of all the information on this site as tax laws change and I may not have a clear understanding of complicated issues. I am trying to provide basic tax preparation information for our volunteers to get started--remember Publication 4012 is your go-to resource for questions, as well as irs.gov and Publication 17.