How to Train at Home to become a VITA Volunteer--see the steps below (Click here for a downloadable PDF with active links with the same info)
Step One (ALL Volunteers):
A. Review the Volunteer Standards of Conduct .
D. Watch these 2 videos to see an example of intake and review process (videos below-links here also)www.linklearncertification.com/d/ the IRS VITA certification site (When you create your account: complete ONLY the fields with the red asterisk *)
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 then, when you hit continue, it "should" take you back to the Summary page!
After you enter information that generates a Schedule, you will see little 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. (See image 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.
Filing Status & Standard Deductions
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)
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
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.
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.