|Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
volunteers provide FREE Income Tax Preparation Assistance to low-Income,
elderly, disabled and limited English speaking people. Volunteers
are trained and certified by the IRS. This website is set up to
direct potential and returning volunteers to the information that will
help to get them trained and assigned to various sites.
Santa Clara County, Ca, volunteers get FREE classroom training on
Saturdays in January at the San Jose IRS Office, and certification by
the IRS after satisfactorily completing an open book exam.
Additional classroom training is provided by Catholic Charities and the
The definition of low-income changes from year to year and from
site to site, and for 2008 (i.e. 2007 Tax Season) it was approximately
$42,000 for each return, although some sites take that to mean $21,000
for an individual taxpayer.
The depth and intensity of training VITA Volunteer Tax Preparers
is less than that for paid preparers. Issues faced by VITA
volunteers are generally different from issues faced by paid preparers.
Depending on the level of certification, volunteers are taught to
correctly identify filing status, and to prepare returns with wages,
tips, interest, dividends, unearned income, social security, retirement
income, and self-employed income for Schedule C-EZ. Filling in
Schedules C, D, and E are not part of the training or requirement for
VITA volunteers, but a few sites are able to help with such returns.
This website was launched on January
16, 2003 as
http://www.vita-irs.org and maintained by a volunteer for
volunteers and volunteer coordinators of the VITA program.
It was since renamed
http://www.vita-volunteers.org, and supported in part by
sponsored links and advertisements.
This website provided information and
communication for VITA volunteers and site coordinators. It
focused on the area known as San Jose Territory, roughly the area between Santa Clara and Kern Counties.
As of May 1, 2006 it covered Santa
Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Modesto, Tuolumne,
Stanislaus, Merced and Mariposa Counties. The
range was limited by the personal resources of the person
maintaining this website, and the sphere of influence of
the IRA VITA coordinator for San Jose and Modesto.
While the goal of the website
was to reach a broad audience, practical considerations
limited us to focus on Santa Clara County in California as
of December 2007.
The primary reason is that the IRS VITA Coordinator
works closely with the webmaster to provide County
specific information, and also provides the site URL for
registration and reference. Other Counties or
Sites or cities will be profiled if the Site Coordinator
from that location is willing to work with the
On many occasions, potential
volunteers from outside Santa Clara County have requested
information and signed up on the Santa Clara County
Online Registration list. Since it is not possible
to provide information from outside the County, an
inquiry form for such volunteers has available, and the information
is forwarded to the relevant IRS department.
While designed for volunteers and
coordinators, this website is also visited by taxpayers
and IRS staff. We welcome you to this site, and hope
your visit provides value to you. Since much of the
information needed by volunteers is also relevant and
Taxpayers served by VITA, this may explain the
unintended audience. It is
with regret that the self-signed guest book feature
was discontinued. The number of entries saying
"Great Site" followed by links to sites that provided
information on how to enlarge various personal body parts,
buy medications to enhance performance of some very pleasant friendly
activities, buy genuine
fake antiques and valuables, find mail-order brides, and trade your low interest
rate mortgage for a higher interest rate mortgage were getting out of
hand, simply drowning out genuine comments, and filling up
the disk storage allocation of this domain. For
serious discussions on VITA related issues, please check
out one of the
where you may comment.
This website is not an official website of the U.S.
Government, U.S. Treasury, IRS, or the California
Franchise Tax Board. Although every attempt
was made to obtain information from reliable sources,
the information is not guaranteed accurate. This
site is intended for information only and offered as a
public service and a courtesy. Please contact the VITA Site coordinator or the IRS VITA Coordinator for authoritative answers to
Contacts for VITA questions:
Santa Clara County
IRS VITA Coordinator E-Mail
SCC-IRS-VITA-coord ( at ) vita-volunteers.org
IRS VITA Coordinator E-Mail
IRS-VITA-coordinator (at) vita-volunteers.org
Web site E-Mail
(Only for website related issues, not for VITA
site information, training or tax law questions
or site locations)
Volunteer sign-up announcements