Tax Prep Volunteer Information

Volunteer for our Tax Prep Program!

Our site will again offer free tax preparation to low-income individuals and families from February to mid-April 2019.
Every year, billions of dollars in tax credits go unclaimed by low-income taxpayers who don’t know they are eligible.  VITA volunteers help our clients apply all of the appropriate tax credits, allowing the people who need it most to get the returns they deserve.
Last year, more than 41 volunteers helped prepare tax returns and got over $1,014,791 in total refunds to local residents. We will provide training and orientation for all volunteers. You can serve as a tax preparer, screener, interpreter, or greeter! (See descriptions below.)
Schedule Overview:
– Jan. 4,11, and 18, 2020 – Training Days for Tax Preparers
– January 26th, 2019 12pm-2pm- Volunteers must attend orientation @The Women’s Building
– February 1st – April 14th 2019 (first day depends on shift)
– You pick your preferred (shift vary by attendance): Thursdays 5pm to 9pm or Saturdays 9:30am to 2pm


Contact: Abi Pantoja
Phone: 415-431-1180 x11

Pick one of the 4 different roles to help the community

Tax Preparer:

Tax Preparers assist low income wage earners to complete their tax returns. Tax Preparers receive free training and are certified by the IRS.


  • Attend IRS basic tax law training or certify online through Link & Learn (see training section below)
  • Conduct intake interviews to fully understand taxpayer’s tax situation to ensure the correct tax law is applied and all allowable credits are claimed
  • Assist taxpayers with their returns based on information provided by taxpayer and answer tax-related questions
  • Provide high-quality tax return preparation to all taxpayers
  • Contact the site coordinator or IRS support hotline for assistance when necessary
  • Maintain confidentiality of taxpayer information
  • Assist taxpayer to file returns using electronic filing software whenever possible
  • Provide information about other programs, such as food stamps, that taxpayers may be able to utilize (if applicable at your VITA site)
  • Review completed returns for accuracy if certified to the Intermediate level
  • Ensure a copy of the completed tax return is provided to the taxpayer


  • Successfully pass the IRS certification test on required tax law knowledge
  • Read all communications for updates on tax requirements or procedural changes
  • Respect client privacy
  • Maintain accurate records of assistance provided
  • Give 24-hour cancellation notice when unable to volunteer at your site


  • Ability to work as a volunteer one shift per week (3-4 hours)
  • Basic tax knowledge a plus
  • Strong verbal and communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills and comfort with a wide range of people
  • Computer skills for entering tax information (formal training will be provided)
  • Ability to work flexible hours from January through April
  • Ability to take initiative and work with minimal supervision
  • Commitment to strengthening families by increasing self-sufficiency

Training:   Classroom training (only for new tax preparers) or self-study through Link and Learn and a passing score of 80% on the exam. Certification levels are Basic and Advanced. A preparer must take each level of instruction and exam before moving to the next level. A preparer can only prepare returns that are within the scope of the level of certification he/she has.



Screeners are an integral part of running a successful VITA site. Screeners are responsible for assisting clients to complete the IRS intake sheet and ensuring the taxpayer has brought all necessary documents prior to having their tax returns prepared. It is recommended that each VITA site have designated screeners that feel comfortable with the process further ensuring a seamless experience for the client.

Training:  Classroom training or self-study through Link and Learn and a passing score of 80% on the exam. Certification levels are Basic and Advanced.


Interpreters aid VITA clients by working alongside the tax clients and Tax Preparers. Volunteers who speak Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese are always needed. No training required.

Training:  Interpreters must complete the Standards of Conduct certification on Link and Learn.

*We strongly need Bilingual Spanish Speakers!



Greeters welcome tax filers to the VITA site during the tax season. They are responsible for ensuring that tax filers have all the information needed to complete their tax returns. No training required, but some VITA sites often provide a separate greeter training.

Training:   Greeters are encouraged to complete the Standards of Conduct certification on Link and Learn.


Contact: Abi
Phone: 415-431-1180 x11