Join us as a Volunteer Tax Preparer for the 2021 OC Free Tax Preparation Campaign! The campaign offers free tax preparation services in Orange County through the IRS’ volunteer program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
Become a VITA Volunteer
SIGN UP BELOW! No tax experience necessary. Orange County United Way will provide you the tax training and tools to become VITA certified and to be a successful volunteer. VITA volunteers must be comfortable using a computer.
Every year VITA volunteer training starts in November and runs through January.
- This season training will be provided virtually through Zoom.
- Any in-person tax prep will follow strict social distancing guidelines. All participants will be required to wear a mask.
Free tax preparation services start at the end of January and run through April 15th.
- With over 30 VITA locations across Orange County, you can volunteer where it is most convenient for you.
- VITA sites are open on different days and different times… so there is a site for you!
- VITA volunteers are strongly encouraged to commit to at least 35 hours over the tax season.
To sign up, fill out the form below
Orange County United Way and the IRS offer free online VITA training for new and returning volunteers.
This year, two (2) days of online training is REQUIRED for new volunteers and one (1) day training is REQUIRED for returning volunteers. Training will be completed through Zoom.
To get started, you can check out the IRS training resources at:
Don’t worry! Exams are self-paced, open-book, multiple-choice. All VITA volunteers must pass the IRS’ Volunteer Standards of Conduct Training (Ethics) certification. To prepare tax returns in the IRS’ VITA program, you must also pass a tax preparation certification. Online testing is fast and efficient. Volunteers who do not pass the test the first time may review the course material and try again.
Register or Get More Information
To register or get more information, please submit the form below:
VITA Volunteer Roles
- Greeter: Welcomes taxpayer, ensures that taxpayer brought the required documents, and explains the process of the appointment and what to expect.
- Tax Preparer: Interviews taxpayer and prepares federal and state tax returns using IRS software.
- Quality Reviewer: Reviews tax returns for accuracy, advises that taxpayers are responsible for the information on the tax return, and explains the refund and credit amounts.
- Interpreter: Interpreters aid taxpayers by working alongside the taxpayers and tax preparers. Spanish/English bilingual and American Sign Language volunteers needed.
Learn More about Becoming a VITA Volunteer
It’s a win-win for VITA volunteers. Watch the video to learn more about how you can help and benefit by becoming a VITA Volunteer Tax Preparer.
Are You Ready to Volunteer?
Thank you for your interest in serving our community together.
Fill out the form above for more information or to register as a VITA Volunteer with the OC Free Tax Prep Campaign.
Or, talk to the OC Free Tax Prep Campaign Manager at 949.263.6168.
VITA Volunteer Spotlight
Thank you to the volunteers who are making an impact in the lives of Orange County individuals and families!
"What I get out of volunteering for VITA is the great feeling I get from helping people. I definitely plan on continuing with our VITA program next year and with our upcoming extended season. I actually got my sister involved in the VITA program. She found a location near her and started volunteering last year. I would tell someone who is interested in being a VITA volunteer that it is a terrific program that helps many people. It is well run and a very rewarding volunteer opportunity. " --- Linda
"I have volunteered for 3 seasons and plan to continue as long as the program continues. Our group of volunteers has become over the years a very close group and we all enjoy each other company as we work to help others. It seems many of us now have found our niche and we work beautifully together. Why do I do it? Certainly, I selfishly get satisfaction from being able to help someone who needs assistance. And knowing I help someone feels good. Volunteering in a nutshell." --- Leslie
Hats off to Jorge and Caesar! This duo may be unsung heroes as data checkers but their roles are vital. When IRS-certified volunteers prepare a tax return, the return is submitted to the data checker whose sole purpose is to review and assure the accuracy of the data sources. When this process is complete, it is submitted to the Quality Reviewer for the tax application evaluation. The result-- fewer submission errors making the process even smoother for the valued clients we serve.