VITA Volunteer Training

           VITA Volunteer Training    

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance in Cameron and Willacy Counties, Texas


For more information contact, call (956) 548- 6880 or follow us on Facebook @vitascc.



• Apply to participate in the VITA 

   volunteer program.

• Attend a virtual VITA orientation

   (optional) on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 

    5:30pm-7pm via Zoom.                                             

• Read the VITA Certification Plan.                                             

• Visit the IRS’ online training platform

   called Link and Learn Taxes (LLT) at VITA 


• Visit the online Basic Certification video 

   curriculum at VITA-Train.                                                                                       

• The IRS provides volunteers with a print 

   copy of  PUB 4012 VITA Resource Guide 

   and PUB 6744 VITA Test/Retest. These 

   will be available for pick up at the United 

   Way office mid-November.       

• See the COVID-19 Safety Plan in the

   References section to learn about virtual

   training and tax preparation for a safe

   tax season for volunteers and clients. 

Step 1- Study 


Volunteer Tax Preparers study 3 topics for testing:

  VITA Tax Law, Volunteer Standards of Conduct and

  Intake/ Interview & Quality Review. You choose the

  level of tax law to which you will certify (Basic or



Curriculum options are:

• VITA-Train: Prepare for the Basic Volunteer
Certification Test using this series of 13 modules
(video or pdf). Module 12 has information for
Advanced volunteers also.
• Publication 4491: VITA Training Guide is the
VITA tax law textbook.  Icons indicate the
certification level of tax topics within the lessons:
a single-book icon for Basic and a stacked-book
icon for Advanced.  VITA Central provides tax 
law lessons that supplement the chapters from
PUB 4491.  
• PUB 4961: Volunteer Standards of Conduct
(VSOC). Read this document.     
• PUB 5101: Intake/Interview and Quality
Review Training (IIQR). Read this document.  

Step 2- Practice


• Read the IRS Fact Sheet: Practice Lab. This was

  published in 2018, but the information is still


 Create your user account for Practice Lab. 

   Before you create an account or log in you

   will need a generic password: TRAINPROWEB.

• Prepare scenario-based tax return problems

  using software at Practice Lab. You may work

  practice returns concurrently with studying tax

  law. Practice problems for both Basic and 

  Advanced are found at VITA-Train in the Practice

  Returns section and the Practice Lab home page,

   section 6.

• Refer to PUB 4012: VITA Volunteer Resource

  Guide to help you while preparing tax return

  problems. It is full of decision trees, charts and

  step-by-step guides for all parts of the tax 

  return process. Please become familiar with

  this resource.                           

• Attend virtual study groups (optional) to ask

  questions and work a practice return together.

Step 3- Test

• Create a user account for LLT Test Site by following

   the instructions in the Certification Testing: Getting

   Started Tutorial. This is not the same account as

   Practice Lab.

• Read IRS Certification Question & Answers Fact Sheet.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

   Tip: Before testing refer to PUB 6744 VITA Test/Retest 

   and work each test in the book before going to VITA 

   Central's online test site.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

• Test VSOC (Volunteer Standards of Conduct) at LLT


• Test I/I/QR (Intake/Interview and Quality Review) at


• Prepare Basic Test Scenario Problems 6 & 7(or

   Advanced Test Scenarios 6-8) found in PUB 6744 VITA

   Test/Retest on Practice Lab.    

   Tip: Refer to PUB 4012 VITA Volunteer Resource

   Guide, for help while preparing test tax returns.   

• Test Basic (or Advanced) at LLT Test Site online. 

• After testing, electronically sign and download F13615 

  Volunteer Agreement Form following the instructions in

  references and email to 

  This form must be submitted to United Way before

  working with the public.



Step 4- Train


• Attend a January VITA Tax Preparer

  Training (virtual or in-person). Please

  see the schedule in the Training

  Materials section for the date, time and

  instructions for your cohort (community 

  volunteers, TSC students, UTRGV 

  students, high school students listed

  by school). This training is required for all

  volunteer tax preparers. Certify in tax law

  before attending.

• Sign up for volunteer service hours (at least

   3 hours per week for the first 6 weeks of the

   tax season) by sending the VITA 

   Volunteer Hours Request Form to

Note: UTRGV Income Taxation class students

  have unique training and certification

  deadlines. Please see Blackboard for further

  instructions or contact United Way at

Step 5- Public Service


Congratulations! You're ready to volunteer! 

There are 20 VITA sites in the Cameron and

Willacy Counties Coalition. 

Submit the Volunteer Hours Form

  to United Way to let us know which site

  and the hours you can volunteer. United Way

  will confirm your site location and hours.

  Once you are assigned to a VITA site you

  will communicate directly with the Site

  Coordinator of that site for further volunteer


Please show up to the first day of VITA

  service at your confirmed site as Site 

  Coordinators don't always have time to

  contact you directly before the first day of


• Refer to the PUB 4012 Resource Guide every

   step of the way while preparing tax returns

   for clients. The Site Coordinator will

   answer your questions on site.

Training Materials


• VITA Volunteer Hours Request Form

• TaxSlayer Pro

• VITA Springboard 

• VITA App

• Quality and Tax Alerts

• VITA Coalition Schedule

• Get Your Refund HUB Overview

• Get Your Refund Virtual Volunteer


• Video- Tax prep with...




This website has been prepared for training purposes only within Cameron and Willacy counties, Texas, VITA program and is not intended to provide tax or legal advice.