This is the path for you if you are a certified Enrolled Agent, CPA, CFP, or tax attorney! Become a tax volunteer with Earn It! Keep It! Save It! in 3 easy steps:
STEP ONE: Sign up for a site (or multiple sites)
If you haven’t already done so, visit earnitkeepitsaveit.org/volunteer first to register for a specific volunteer location! This will be where you will volunteer during tax season- most sites open at the end of January or beginning of February. NOTE: In-person training options may be held in a separate location though.
STEP TWO: Train and certify
Next, you’ll want to complete training and online certification.
Some tax sites have optional in-person training (at the actual site or, more commonly, at a county-wide training). The majority of our volunteers who are tax professionals go straight to the exams required to serve as a volunteer tax preparer — Volunteer Standards of Conduct (Ethics), Intake/Interview and Quality Review (IIQR), and Tax Law Certification.
- (3 minutes) ACCESS THE VOLUNTEER CERTIFICATION SYSTEM. If you were a tax volunteer last year and certified online, simply use that same login information. If not, follow these instructions to create an account in Link and Learn – VITA/TCE Central. During registration, indicate your professional designation of EA, CPA, tax attorney, or otherwise. Be sure to note down your username and password for this site. Highlights about this system:
- NO TIME LIMIT. START AND SAVE YOUR PROGRESS! – Start your tests at anytime, save your progress, and return to them later.
- ALL TESTS ARE OPEN-BOOK, MOSTLY MULTIPLE-CHOICE. – This isn’t about memorizing every single detail in tax law. You should refer to these awesome training resources as needed.
- INSTANT RESULTS! TWO ATTEMPTS. – As soon as you submit your answers, your test will be graded. If you miss a question, it won’t give you the answers but will tell you which questions you missed. You have 2 attempts at each exam. Note that if you fail a test, the re-test will have different questions.
- (15 minutes) VOLUNTEER STANDARDS OF CONDUCT (ETHICS) – Refer to IRS Pub. 4961: Volunteer Standards of Conduct / Ethics Training and the online training modules to complete the 10-question, multiple-choice Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam while logged into Link and Learn – VITA/TCE Central.
- (10 minutes) INTAKE/INTERVIEW AND QUALITY REVIEW (IIQR) – Refer to IRS Pub. 5101: Intake/Interview and Quality Review Training and the online training modules to complete the 10-question, multiple-choice IIQR exam while logged into Link and Learn – VITA/TCE Central.
- (3 minutes) TAXSLAYER PRACTICE LAB SOFTWARE – Follow our screenshot guide to create an account in the TaxSlayer Practice Lab software. Note down your username and password. You may need software to prepare a sample tax return for the exam in the next step.
- (30 minutes to 1 hour, depends on your experience with individual tax law) TAX LAW CERTIFICATION –
For volunteers who are authorized under Circular 230 to practice before the IRS, you can complete the 15-question, multiple-choice Federal Tax Law Update Test for Circular 230 Professionals. You must have done the above registration and steps in Link and Learn – VITA/TCE Central with professional designation of Attorney, Certified Public Accountant, and/or Enrolled Agent. Professionals who complete this certification level can prepare any tax returns that fall within the scope of service of the VITA/TCE Programs. You can read more about this here. NOTE: If you take this shorter test, your volunteer work will not count towards CE Credits.
If you want CE Credits for the volunteer work you will do, click on the “Advanced” tab when logged into Link and Learn – VITA/TCE Central and complete the Advanced Tax Law Certification exam! You can do it! Refer to these awesome training resources, as needed.
- (3 minutes) EMAIL YOUR VOLUNTEER AGREEMENT TO YOUR SITE COORDINATOR – Once you pass your exams, electronically sign and download your Volunteer Agreement from Link and Learn – VITA/TCE Central and email them to your Site Coordinator(s).
STEP THREE: Volunteer at your site
Once certified as a tax volunteer, head to your tax site on your volunteer day and get ready for a busy shift!