VITA Volunteer Certification

Step 1: Attend a Training Session

New volunteers:  Please sign-up for one in-person training session here.

Required Session Dates 
Thu, Jan 10, 5-8pm
Sat, Jan 12, 9-noon
Thu, Jan 17, 5-8pm
Sat, Jan 19, 9-noon
Thu, Jan 24, 5-8pm
Sat, Jan 26, 9-noon

Returning Volunteers:  You are welcome to attend a training session, but it is not required for returning volunteers.

The training presentation can be found at this link:  Coming soon!


Step 2: Complete the Certification Tests

Help Available

We are here to help!  If you would need help with the test, email vita@uwwashtenaw.org or attend a Drop-In Test Help Session:

Drop-In Test Help/Work Session Dates
Sat, Jan 12, 12:30-3:30pm
Tue, Jan 14, 5-8pm
Sat, Jan 19, 12:30-3:30pm
Sat, Jan 26, 12:30-3:30pm
Tue, Jan 29, 5-8pm
Registration not required for Drop-In Sessions; Bringing your own laptop is recommended.

Other helpful test preparation resources can be found at the bottom of this page.

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Tests for All Volunteers (Greeters, Tax Preparers, and Quality Reviewers)

Required:  You must pass both of these tests.  Each of these exams take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

  1. 2018 Volunteer Standards of Conduct
  2. 2018 Intake/Interview and Quality Review 

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Tests for Tax Preparers and Quality Reviewers ONLY

Required:  You must pass one of the following.  Each of these exams take approximately 4 hours to complete.

  1. 2018 Basic Exam – Recommended if you are new to tax preparation.  You will be limited to preparing simpler returns.
  2. 2018 Advanced Exam -  Recommended for return volunteers or for volunteers with experience preparing their own tax returns.  If you take and pass this exam, you are not required to take the basic exam. 

Optional:  You can take the 2018 Health Savings Accounts (HSA) Exam if you want to be certified to prepare returns for clients with HSA accounts.  You must first pass either the basic or advanced exam before taking this exam.

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Before starting the online the exams:

  1. The exam questions are found in Publication 6744
    • It is easiest to complete the questions at your own pace using this publication first - it matches the online exams identically.
  2. Tax Preparation Exams Only:
    • You will be required to use the online tax preparation software (TaxSlayer) to answer some of the exam questions.  Review this document to:
    • Take a few minutes to get familar with Publication 4012 before starting the tax exams

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Completing the online exams:

Once you are confident in your answers, create an account (new volunteers) and log into VITA/TCE Central to complete the required exams listed above.  You are only required to complete the exams required (listed above) for the volunteer role you are interested in.  There are additional exams shown in VITA/TCE Central that you do not need to complete.

  1. To pass the exam, you must answer 80% of the questions correctly.  
  2. You are only allowed to take each exam two times.  If you do not pass the first time, please contact us at vita@uwwashtenaw.org before taking it a second time.

Step 3: Upload Your VITA Volunteer Form 13615

Once you pass all your required exams, follow this link to upload your VITA Volunteer Form (Form 13615). We do NOT need your certificate.  

You only have to do this once after you finish all the exams you plan to take.  


Other Helpful Exam Preparation Resources

Standards of Conduct and Intake/Interview and Quality Review Exams:

  1. IRS training slides (5101)
  2. IRS Publication 4961
  3. Prosperity Now guided presentations - Module 1A - 1D
  4. VITA/TCE Training Guide (Publication 4491)

Tax Preparation Exams:

  1. IRS Link and Learn Training (basic, advanced, and HSA exams)
  2. Prosperity Now guided presentations covering the basic exam
  3. VITA/TCE Training Guide (Publication 4491)
  4. Publication 4012 is a great resource for when taking the exams