VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
The VITA program is sponsored by WWU’s Beta Alpha Psi in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service.
ANYONE may volunteer to help with VITA – even if you’ve never done a tax return before! All of the training you need is provided – free! Please join us in providing free tax help to the community!
The training and training materials you will receive are provided free of charge. However, to maximize the effectiveness of our program, we request that you commit to actually providing at least 20 hours of volunteer time in the community assisting taxpayers during this filing period. If you can volunteer 2 to 4 hours per week during the filing season (early February through April 15th; closed during Winter Quarter finals week and Spring Break), you can easily accomplish this. By committing to these 20 hours, we can ensure that resources are available to assist those who need our help.
By volunteering your time to this endeavor, you will be provided with:
- Training on basic tax law and the preparation of individual tax returns (subject to VITA program limitations);
- The opportunity to process tax returns for electronic filing;
- The opportunity to provide a valuable service to your community;
- The opportunity to achieve a great deal of satisfaction;
- An opportunity to apply your education and experience to real life situations.
If this appeals to you, please complete the Volunteer Signup Form (online – click here to go to the signup form). Although the training is free, we request that you sign up (using the online form) as early as possible, so that we can be sure that we have sufficient training materials for everyone.
The VITA training is a combination of self-study, online training and in-class training. The self-study training materials are expected to be available by Thanksgiving; IF the IRS provides any printed VITA training materials, they will be available in early December from the VITA Coordinator, and the online materials will be available on our (not yet available) VITA Resources page. (You MUST sign up to volunteer first! See the link above to volunteer.) The (not yet available) VITA resources page will contain the links and instructions for the self-study and online training, as well as recommended study plans for the self-study part of the VITA training. The in-class portion of VITA training is scheduled for 9am to 4pm on 2 Saturdays: January 20th and January 27th at Western Washington University. The in-class training will include computerized tax preparation, specific topics commonly encountered at our VITA sites, and Affordable Care Act training. Once you’ve completed the training (self-study & in-class), take and pass the (open book) online test – and get set to help your community and yourself!
We (WWU VITA) will coordinate the VITA site at Western (in Parks Hall). There will also be a VITA site at Whatcom Community College. Our volunteers have also sometimes been asked to help at the Opportunity Council’s VITA site (in Bellingham).
We plan to communicate with volunteers primarily through email when possible. Therefore, please be sure to provide your email address (and other contact information) on the WWU VITA Signup Form so that the WWU VITA Coordinator can send you information on the training, VITA volunteer sites, etc.
Click here for “What VITA Volunteers Can Do for You” (This explains the scope of VITA.) Click here for our VITA Frequently Asked Questions
Start thinking about your schedule for February through April – be ready (in January) to let the WWU VITA Coordinator know the dates and times that you’re available!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, ENERGY AND SUPPORT!!
WWU VITA Coordinator, WWU Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Society, Western Washington University Department of Accounting, CBE Parks Hall 451, 516 High Street, MS 9071, Bellingham, WA 98225-9071, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL VITA volunteers are to be certified for the Volunteer Standards of Conduct AND Advanced Training. To do this you must pass the online VITA Tests (Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSOC), & Advanced Test) with a score of 80% on EACH segment. (The Military, International, & Foreign Student segments are NOT part of the WWU VITA program; the Advanced Test includes all the material covered in the Basic Test, so do NOT do the separate Basic Test.) ALL volunteers MUST turn in the final Volunteer Agreement showing that the volunteer has completed both required VITA tests (VSOC and Advanced), and has completed the required Intake/Interview & Quality Review Training. The Volunteer Agreement must be turned in to the WWU VITA Coordinator by January 29, 2018, since we must have your Volunteer Agreement BEFORE you can volunteer.