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 after Thanksgiving. 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
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.
Details coming soon…
In partnership with Florida Prosperity Partnership, 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. Session dates to come. This training option is available to volunteers certifying as Advanced Tax Preparers.
Please email email@example.com for more information.
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.
Publication 4012: Volunteer Resource Guide
Primary reference tool that provides guidance with tax law through interview tips, narratives, flow charts, diagrams, and graphs.
Publication 4491: Training Guide
The guide covers Basic, Advanced and Military topics but Military is optional.
Publication 4491-X: Training Supplement
This usually comes out later in January with any changes, revisions, and additions to previous IRS training publications, e.g., Pub 4012, Pub 4491 and Form 6744.
Publication 4942: Health Savings Accounts
This guide was developed to help volunteers assist taxpayers who have a Health Savings Account (HSA).
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
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.”
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.
Amended Tax Returns