VITA Toolkit

How to Train at Home to become a VITA Volunteer -- see the steps below 

Step One (ALL Volunteers): 

A. Review the Volunteer Standards of Conduct .

B. Review Intake/interview and Quality Review

C. Check out this Online Training on INTAKE INTERVIEW/QUALITY REVIEW by Prosperity Now—it's really good!! 

D. Watch these 2 videos to see an example of intake and review process (videos below-links here also)

  1. (intake process)
  2. (quality review)

E. Create an account at  the IRS VITA certification site (When you create your account: complete ONLY the fields with the red asterisk *)

  • Take both the Standards of Conduct Exam  and Intake/interview Exam online—must receive 80% or higher



Step Two (Tax Preparers, Reviewers & Coordinators): Become familiar with the tax forms, tax laws, and software.  

Tax forms/Tax Laws:

  1.  Remember:
    1.  YOU DO NOT have to memorize any of it. 
    2.  Our Software DOES ALL the calculations and selects the appropriate tax forms/schedules for you and is easy to use.
    3. We do simple returns—don’t get overwhelmed. You will always have more experienced people to answer questions and help you--and your work will ALWAYS be quality reviewed by someone else--this is an IRS requirement for everyone! 
    4. Review the material so you will have some knowledge and feel more confident.

  2. ​There are two ways to access the IRS Training Modules (PDF publication) or online modules(interactive slide show). Pick a method that works best for you or use both
    1. PDF Publication 4491 VITA Training Guide--
    2.  Online  Modules(interactive slide show)
  3. This website has tons on online resources, videos and PDFs that cover all the tax topics required for certification. Explore the site and resources to become more knowledgeable and confident. 

Software--Practice Lab:

  1. Remember
    1. The more you play with the software, the more familiar you will become with it and the more your confidence will project to your client. 

    2. You cannot mess anything up in the Practice Lab--IT IS NOT LIVE!! You cannot accidentally e-file a return. SO PLAY PLAY PLAY--CHANGE VALUES AND SEE HOW REFUNDS AND CREDITS CHANGE!

    3. Practice Lab Website
      1. ​​ the password for everyone to access is TRAINPROWEB  (write this down)
      2. Create an account: (see tutorial video below)
        *How To Tutorial*

VITA/IRS Publications:

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)

  • PUB 4491 and PUB 17 will not be available in print form after 2018.
  • It is suggested that you download a copy of PUB 17 and PUB 4012 onto each computer you use when preparing taxes (with a shortcut on the desktop).
  • Code of Conduct and Intake Interview/Quality Review Training and test books can be found on my Certification page (click here)