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Volunteer Training

To help you prepare for the IRS certification tests, there are a variety of trainings and resources to choose from.

All training is free to all VITA volunteers.

Please use whatever combination of trainings and resources that work best for you. Printed copies of Form 6744: Volunteer Assistor’s Test/Retest and IRS Publication 4012: Volunteer Resource Guide are usually available for pick up at the following locations:

Financial Empowerment Center (East Nashville)
217 South Tenth
Nashville, TN 37206
Monday — Wednesday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

United Way of Greater Nashville (Metro Center)
250 Venture Circle
Nashville, TN 37228
Monday — Friday 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

All other IRS publications are only available electronically.

All volunteers will need to create an account on Link and Learn, the IRS certification test site. Refer to Quick Guide to Link and Learn for information on how to set up your account.  Print our VITA Password Tracker to keep track of all your logins.

If you’re planning to certify as a tax preparer, you’ll also need to create an account on TaxSlayer Practice Lab. Practice Lab is a tax software simulation software that you will use to prepare tax returns to answer questions on the Basic and Advanced tests. Refer to Practice Lab Guide to find out how to access Practice Lab and create your account. Don’t forget to record your username and password on the VITA Password Tracker form.

When you’re ready to take the certification tests in Link and Learn, here are some tips:

  • We recommend that you go through the VITA/TCE Volunteer Assistor’s Test/Retest (Publication 6744) on paper first before attempting to answer the questions online.

  • Answering the Retest questions may also provide clues to the answers on the Test.

  • If you intend to take the Advanced exam, you do not need to complete the Basic exam first.

IRS CERTIFICATION SITE

All Greeters must take the Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

All Intake Specialists and Tax Preparers must now take both the Volunteer Standards of Conduct and the Intake/Interview and Quality Review exam.

If you intend to take the Advanced exam, you do not need to complete the Basic exam first. Visit this website to access certification tests, tools and fact sheets.

In-Person Training


Goodlettsville – Goodlettsville Branch Library

  • Register – Training One (must attend all 3 sessions): Sat., Dec. 2, 9, and 16 – Noon to 3 pm
  • Register – Training Two (must attend all 3 sessions): Sat., Jan 6, 13, and 20 – Noon to 3 pm


Murfreesboro – United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties

Contact Debbie Curtis to register: debbie.curtis@yourlocaluw.org or 615-552-6845

  • Orientation, Volunteer Standards of Conduct, and Greeter/Intake Training: Dec. 9 – 9 am to Noon
  • Orientation, Volunteer Standards of Conduct, Greeter/Intake Training, and Intro to Tax Law Training Resources: Every week on Sat., Jan. 6, 13, 20, and 27 – 9 am to 2 pm
  • Tax Mentoring: Sat., Jan. 20 and 27 – 11 am to 1 pm 


Clarksville – Montgomery County Public Library

  • Register – Orientation, Ethics, Greeter/Intake: Sat., Jan. 6 – 9 am to 12 noon
  • Register – Training/Certification for Basic: Sat., Jan. 13 – 9 am to 4 pm
  • Register – Training/Certification for Advanced: Sat., Jan. 20 – 9 am to 4 pm
  • Register – Practice Lab: Sat., Jan. 27 – 9 am to 12 noon


Franklin – Williamson County Public Library

  • Register – Volunteer Orientation and Training: Sat., Jan. 6 – 10 am to 2 pm
  • Register – Volunteer Training: Sat., Jan 13 – 10 am to 2 pm

Nashville – Nashville Financial Empowerment Center

  • Register – Orientation, Intake Interview, and Tax Law Training: Sat., Jan. 20 – 9 am to 4 pm

Virtual Training

In partnership with My True Prosperity, we provide virtual training via live Zoom sessions. This training consists of four 3-hour sessions that will cover all three required IRS certification exams for tax preparers. This training option is available to volunteers certifying as Advanced Tax Preparers.

Click here to view the training schedule.

Click here to register (sse coupon code UWGN2024 to get the training on us!).

Please email vita@unitedwaygn.org for more information.

Self-Study

There are IRS publications and websites to help you prepare for the IRS certification tests. Please pick and choose resources that may be helpful to you.

Volunteer Standards of Conduct Test
Refer to IRS Publication 4961: Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSOC) – Ethics Training to help you prepare for the Volunteer Standards of Conduct Test.

Intake/Interview & Quality Review Test
Refer to IRS Publication 5101: Intake/Interview and Quality Review Training to help you prepare for the Intake/Interview and Quality Review Test.

Basic and Advanced Tests
You do not have to take Basic first in order to take the Advanced Test. We strongly encourage all volunteer tax preparers to certify Advanced. Approximately 25% of the tax returns require a tax preparer with Advance certification.


IRS Publications


Websites

  • Link & Learn e-Learning
    Link & Learn Taxes is an IRS web-based program that provides 6 certification courses. This is an interactive program that teaches you how to accurately prepare tax returns. You move at your own pace.

  • Prosperity Now VITA-Train
    VITA-Train is a modular training program designed by the Taxpayer Opportunity Network. You can choose to go through all the modules or pick and choose which ones to focus on

  • Vitaresources.net
    Website created by United Way of Lee, Hendry Glades, and Okeechobee in Florida with lots of helpful information and links.


Military Test (OPTIONAL)
Covers the full scope of returns presented by members of the Armed Forces, Reserve and National Guard. To take this course, you must first be certified as “Advanced.”

Refer to “Military Menu” in Link & Learn and IRS Publication 4491: Training Guide.


Foreign Student Test (OPTIONAL)
Covers the completion of returns for international students and scholars.

Refer to “Foreign Student Menu” in Link & Learn, IRS Publication 4011: Foreign Student and Scholar Volunteer Resource Guide, and IRS Publication 4756: Foreign Student and Scholar Volunteer Tax Return Preparation.

TRAINING VIDEOS

Amended Tax Returns

 

Schedule C

 

Education Credits

 

For more information or questions, please email VITA@unitedwaygn.org.