What to Expect

Some sites take appointments, and others are on a walk-in basis only.

  • If you have an appointment at a site, please be on time. If you are unable to make your appointment, contact the site to let them know as early as possible. Sites that take appointments can fill up quickly, and are often fully booked. If you are late for an appointment, the site may not be able to take you when you arrive, and may not be able to schedule an alternate time for you.
  • Walk-in sites operate on a first-come, first-served basis and will have a waiting list if all the volunteers are busy with other taxpayers. Wait times at walk-in sites can be lengthy, especially at peak times. Please contact your local site for information on the best time to arrive to minimize your wait.

Whether a site takes appointments or walk-ins, or is offering virtual VITA services, the basic process that is followed will be the same:

  1. First, you will be asked to complete an Intake and Interview sheet. The information on this sheet gives the preparer information that is required to complete your return, and also helps them ensure that your return falls within the scope of VITA/TCE. This form should be filled out completely and accurately to ensure that your return is prepared correctly.
  2. At a site, you will sit with the volunteer while they prepare your return so that you can answer any questions about the information or paperwork you have provided. This also gives you the opportunity to ask the volunteer questions about your return. If you are being helped by a virtual VITA site, you will set up a time to be available by phone to the volunteer who will prepare your return.
  3. After your return is completed, it will go through a Quality Review process. This helps to ensure that the return is error-free when it is filed. If the site is busy, you may have to wait until a Quality Reviewer is available.
  4. Once your return has been reviewed, a copy will be printed for your records. A volunteer will sit with you to give you your copy of both Federal and State returns. At this time, you have a final opportunity to ask questions regarding your return before signing an authorization form that allows the site to e-file your return for you. At this point, you are finished at the site.
  5. After your return is e-filed, it will be processed by the IRS computers. If there are any errors when the file is processed – such as a misspelled name – the site coordinator will contact you to resolve the error, and then re-file the return.