Volunteer FAQs

What volunteer opportunities does Tax Time offer?

There are several volunteer opportunities at VITA tax sites:
  • Tax preparers provide free tax return preparation assistance.
  • Site coordinators supervise the operations at VITA sites.
  • Intake specialists greet clients and check for necessary paperwork.
To sign up for any of these opportunities, please visit our "Join our Team" page.

Do I need training? What training option is best for me?

It is not necessary to have prior tax preparation experience to be a VITA volunteer! Free tax law and software training is available for all Tax Time volunteers, and is flexible based on your schedule and any prior experience you may have.

To get started, simply sign up via our "Join our Team" page, and we will send you all of the necessary details. To sign up for a Review and Practice session, please visit our "Volunteer Resources" page.


What certification do I need?

ALL volunteers, regardless of other certifications or experience, must certify through VITA each year. This includes volunteers who will not be preparing taxes: you will still complete the Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam. 

Additionally, we are asking all of this year’s tax preparation volunteers to certify at the Advanced level. Please note that the Advanced level certification is a stand-alone test; you do NOT need to take the Basic certification before attempting the Advanced.

Once I'm certified, how do I sign up for volunteer shifts?

Please visit our "Sign up for a Volunteer Shift" page in order to view available slots.

When will I volunteer?

During tax season (January 31 through April 18), you can volunteer at times that fit your needs. 
  • We ask that you commit to at least 5 volunteer shifts.
  • Most shifts are 3-4 hours in length and are offered during evenings and Saturdays.
  • Volunteers are able to serve in groups, so you can sign up with friends, coworkers, and family.
  • Many of our volunteers find the experience so rewarding that they come back year after year!

Please visit our "Sign up for a Volunteer Shift" (available in December) page in order to view available slots.

Where will I volunteer?

Tax Time offers preparation at 16 VITA sites, located in several different areas of Columbus. You can choose to volunteer at the same site for each of your shifts, or you can serve at a different site each time.

Please visit our "Sign up for a Volunteer Shift" page in order to view available slots at these sites.

What is a volunteer shift like? What happens at the tax site?

Each volunteer position has a specific role to play at VITA sites:
  • The intake specialist greets the client and checks documentation.
  • Then, the tax preparer prepares the client’s return.
  • Next, the site coordinator reviews the return for accuracy.
  • The tax preparer prints the return for the client to sign.
  • Finally, the site coordinator electronically files the return.

Can I earn continuing education credits for being a VITA volunteer?

Yes! Attorneys, Certified Personal Accountants, and Certified Financial Planners are eligible for up to 18 continuing education units for serving as a VITA volunteer. To learn more information, please click here.

NOTE: In order to earn CE credits for serving as a VITA volunteer, you must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number.

 

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