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HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER

Danbury-VITA operates under the auspices of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  You can obtain information about this program  here and here.

Because we operate under the auspices of the IRS's VITA program, all volunteers must take and pass a number of certification examinations.  This may sound intimidating but it really is not.  Online training is provided via the IRS's Link & Learn Taxes e-Learning website.  Once, there, click on the Certification Paths tab and you will see that there are 5 certification paths.  If you have no prior experience with income tax return preparation take the Basic path.  But, if you have prior experience, or if this sort of thing comes easy for you, take the Advanced path.  Add HSA later if really ambitious.  Once you are done with your training move on to the certification examinations.  You will need to take at least the following three exams: (1) Volunteer Standards of Conduct, (2) Intake/Interview and Quality Review and (3) either Basic or Advanced tax law.  These exams are also online at this location. Since the exams are open book and are not subject to any time limit, you may find they are actually a great way to learn the subject matter.  You will need to set up an account (username and password) before you begin taking the exams.

Some of the exam questions require that you prepare tax returns.  Use the TaxSlayer Practice Lab to prepare these returns.  The Practice Lab is accessed at https://vita.taxslayerpro.com/IRSTraining.  Somewhat confusingly, there are two steps for getting into the Practice Lab.  First, you must enter the Generic password TRAINPROWEB to get past the first "doorway", then you must enter a username and password that are specific to you to get past the second doorway.  You will need to set up an account to sign into the Practice Lab for the first time.

We suggest you download the following IRS publications, as they will be useful references for both the training and actual tax preparation:

Publication 4012 Volunteer Resource Guide

Publication 6744 Volunteer Assistor's Test/Retest

Publication 17 Tax Guide

Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information

Once you have passed all required exams, contact us again at Volunteer@danbury-vita.org and someone from the organization will contact you to work out further details.