University of Maryland Extension

Steps to Volunteer

What are the steps in becoming a VITA volunteer?

1. Successful completion of IRS Online Link-n-Learn online tax training and certification program. Students must pass ethics, Basic, and Advance courses.

2. VITA Service Learning Orientation (service learning, community, communication, professionalism) 

3. Students will get trainings in IRS Tax Software (TaxWise)

3. Learning how to prepare taxes in the community VITA sites

4. Overall self-reflection about the VITA experience

What is course credit?

Students can earn course credits (FMSC 399) while learn and work in the community.

What if I do not need a course credit?

You can work as a VITA volunteer without applying for course credit(s)?

What are the benefits of being VITA volunteer?

  • FREE online/in person trainings on basic, advanced, military, international tax preparation and more
  • The opportunity to have their taxes prepared for free, learn about free to low-cost financial services and have network opportunities to other free assistance programs
  • Learn skills to prepare own tax return
  • An opportunity to learn and engage in the community
  • Advance professionalism, leadership, and communication skills.
  • Cool experience to add to your resume

You also will recieve:

Evaluation of students:

  • They learn about taxation and preparation of income tax returns, apply the learning to real work, and explored career options.
  • They enjoyed the interaction with other interns, staff, and supervisor and had the opportunity work with a variety of clients/customers.
  • They would recommend to friends.


“VITA program gave me a great opportunity to strengthen my knowledge about taxation.

The best part of this experience was the great people I got to work with, and the great learning environment the opportunity provided volunteers.“

“Besides the professional skill and knowledge that I have learned from the program, the enthusiasm from helping people is regarded as the best part of this project.”

“Gain better understanding about tax filings. However, what was the most valuable thing that I learned was communication with clients.”

“The best part of VITA was that I could apply what I had learned in class into reality.”

 “The most challenging part was that I have to deal with different kind of tax returns that I have never met before. So I have to ask for help from professional preparers. But I can learn a lot from those experience.”

“The best part of my experience was being able to see how the whole program is run.”

“I think the most important thing that I learned is that an accountant can be very helpful to clients if they are willing to take the time to answer questions.”

“Even though it was time consuming, it was one of the best professional experiences I had. For me, the best part of it all was to be able to interact with other volunteers like me, while getting to know each other, interact with the “customers,” and being able to put into practice what I had learned. “


















































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