Volunteer with VITA
VITA sites within the state of Colorado generally recruit volunteers during the months of October through December to help prepare for the following tax year, which starts at the end of January or the first week of February.
About Volunteering with VITA
No prior tax preparation experience is necessary, and there are volunteer opportunities that don’t actually involve preparing taxes. VITA provides free training to ensure your success.
There are locations throughout Colorado with varying days and hours of operation. Typically, the tax season is between the last week in January through April 15.
What VITA Volunteers Do
Below lists volunteer opportunities with VITA. Each volunteer will receive proper training/certification in their chosen role (except where noted). Depending on the size of the location and how busy it is, volunteer needs vary. Sometimes volunteers will be asked to perform multiple roles. For instance, a smaller location might ask the tax preparer to greet and sign-in clients before preparing their taxes. Keep in mind you will not be asked to volunteer in any capacity you find uncomfortable or are not trained/certified for.
Bilingual skills are not required for any position, but are desirable in certain areas.
- Tax Preparers prepare tax returns for low- to-moderate income taxpayers with basic returns. They work one-on-one with individuals and families using intake forms and computer software to electronically file accurate tax returns.
- No prior tax preparation experience is required.
- Tax Preparers work one-on-one with clients, spending time with each taxpayer to ensure they receive all credits and tax benefits they are eligible for. They must be comfortable with computers, have a strong attention to detail, customer service skills, and the patience to understand and answer tax questions.
- Greeters welcome clients and orient them to the process. Some Greeters perform an initial screening for eligibility and help clients start their paperwork. This role includes opportunities to assist with administrative tasks, such as filing and mailings. Knowledge of the tax law is not required.
- Greeters are outgoing, organized, and can deal effectively with interruptions and competing tasks. They have excellent customer service skills, and like to interact with many different types of people. They can manage a crowd and remain calm while still being organized.
- Site Coordinators ensure the smooth running of a VITA site. They coordinate with the IRS and ensure all volunteers are appropriately certified. Site coordinators prepare the site before the beginning of the year, help find resources for the site, and make sure the site is properly closed at the end of the season.
- Many site coordinators are certified tax preparers, though that is not required.
- Site Coordinators like to make sure things run smoothly. They are organized, have a great attention to detail, and are and able to remain calm under pressure. They have leadership skills, and prefer to have a management role working with volunteers and clients than working with one client at a time.
Volunteer tax preparers receive extensive training and are required to pass a certification exam before they can prepare taxes. The primary training is self-paced online training. Instructor-led training may be available depending on the site and location. Tax preparers also receive training on the tax preparation software used to prepare taxes.
Training generally takes place in December and January, with training materials available as early as mid-November.
How to get started
For more information about becoming a volunteer, please visit IRS VITA/TCE Tax Volunteers Read about the volunteer program and, if you’re still interested, use the link that takes you to the sign-up page. Once your application is complete and, submitted, you will be contacted by an appropriate volunteer coordinator from the area you are interested in. Inquiring about volunteering is not committing to volunteering! It will simply pair you up with a site coordinator who can provide more information, and help get you started if you decide to volunteer.
Click here to become a volunteer: