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Thank you for your interest in volunteering at a VITA site!!  Your interest is appreciated, and your presence at this website shows experience with the internet and the web.  Volunteering at a VITA site requires completing several steps:
  • Indication of interest provides your contact information, preferences for training, site assignments, and instructions on obtaining training materials.  The information required is minimal, but must be current, so that VITA and site coordinators can get in touch with you. Additional information about indicating your interest is available here, and direct link to Online Sign-up Page!

  • Tax Law Training helps you get the required certification.  The VITA program provides classroom and self-study training options using IRS prepared training material.  The training and material are free!  Classroom attendance is optional for the VITA program, but new tax preparers are strongly urged to take basic classroom training.  Discussing tax law issues in person in class provide insights that you do not get with self-study or going through Link and Learn Website.  Information about Tax Law Training for Santa Clara County available here.

  • Certification shows you are approved to prepare tax returns through VITA.  It requires a passing grade in an open book VITA/TCE Exam and emphasizes Tax Law relevant to returns prepared at VITA/TCE sites.  You must also be at least 18 years old.   The exam can be taken on paper in the classroom, or online through IRS Link and Learn.  This certification is mandatory to volunteer as a tax preparer, e-file transmitter, site coordinator, or to answer tax law questions.  It is required even though you may be a tax professional such as a paid preparer, enrolled agent, CPA, or tax attorney.  (On the other hand, if you are a practising tax professional, the Exam does not require any preparation!!). No exceptions, no ifs, no ands, and no buts. Certification is not required if you are not preparing Tax returns.

  • TaxWise Training uses the computer, and requires basic familiarity of a PC and Windows operating system, knowledge of logging in, and using the mouse and keyboard.  It is just not possible to learn Tax Law, use the PC and learn TaxWise in the time available for most people who have other jobs.   If you have used a computer tax preparation package before, this should be straightforward.  Information for TaxWise Training opportunities for Santa Clara County available here.

  • Signing Volunteer Agreement and Statement of Conduct.. This is separate from but related to the certification, and is required for every volunteer.  It is your agreement to perform your duties professionally and usually on the form which records your score on the certification test.  A copy of the signed agreement must be kept at the VITA site at which you are volunteering.

  • Show up at the assigned site and start volunteering.  Here is where the fun begins!  Prior to this, some site coordinators may require an orientation meeting.

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Information on this site is obtained from sources considered reliable, but not guaranteed accurate. The purpose is to inform only; for advice and decisions, please refer to IRS website Comments regarding this web site should be directed to Privacy Policy. Copyright 2003-2009 All rights reserved.
Last modified: 10/28/09.