Welcome everyone! I am so glad you are here and want to be a VITA volunteer! In the left column below, you will find the How to Train at Home guide that you should follow as you begin your certification as either Greeter/Intake/Interpreter or Tax Preparer or Coordinator.
For tax preparers, there is no way you can learn/review all the material (tax laws, software, and different scenarios you might run across) in one class setting or two, so you will need to do some work on your own. The guide on the left and the videos on the right will walk you through how to access the training materials, software's practice lab, and certification site from the comfort of your home so you can be a VITA volunteer this upcoming tax season--no matter where you live. When you are ready to start working on the certification test, make sure you visit the Certification tab to download the study guides for the Basic and Advanced test.
Drop-In for Help
How to Train at Home to become a VITA Volunteer
Click here for a downloadable PDF with active links
Step 1: Tax Preparers, Quality Reviewers, Coordinators: Make sure to request a printed training Kit from your program manager . The books are available online now as PDFs, just click on the links (Publication 4012 Volunteer Resource Guide and Form 6744 Test/Retest Book) *Printed books will be available mid-November)
Step 2: Every volunteer needs to:
A. Review the Volunteer Standards of Conduct & answer the 10 questions
D. Create an account at linklearncertification.com the IRS VITA certification site (When you create your account: complete ONLY the fields with the red asterisk *)
Step 3: For Tax Preparers, Quality Reviewers, & Coordinators
A. Review the tax laws-
B. Become familiar with the material, you DO NOT have to memorize any of it.
C. Remember: Our Software DOES ALL the calculations and selects the appropriate tax forms/schedules for you and is easy to use.
D. We do simple returns—don’t get overwhelmed.
E. Review PUB 4012—VITA Volunteer Resource Guide-- (learn how to look things up and how to use the Filing Status & Dependents decision trees & tables!)
F. Start taking your certification test in your book: PUB 6744
G. When you have finished your tests in your book, you can check your answers before submitting them to the IRS www.vitaresources.net go to the Certification tab—scroll down to the tool.
H. Submit your answers on the certification site www.linklearncertification.com/d/
Learn this web-address
Taxslayer Practice Lab (The Practice Software)
Tips & Tricks for Taxslayer
TaxSlayer will be providing training webinars. After they are released, they can also be found in Practice Lab, on the home screen under Section 6.
About the books
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.
Learn this web-address linklearncertification.com
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)
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.