VITA Volunteer FAQ's

preparing tax returnsVITA couldn’t exist without the help of our volunteers. Each year we rely on local residents who volunteer as tax preparers at multiple VITA sites throughout Warren, Washington and Northern Saratoga counties.

Through the help of the IRS, our volunteers are offered a comprehensive training program to learn about how to prepare taxes.  Once ready, they complete a standardized test to become a certified VITA volunteer. Many volunteers choose to help with “basic” returns, while others enjoy the challenge of preparing more advanced tax returns. Volunteers can decide which level of returns they are most comfortable preparing.

There are other volunteer opportunities, in addition to tax preparer,  greeters and phone operators are also critical to the success of our program.

 

FAQ’s

What type of volunteer opportunities are available?
We’re always looking for individuals who would like to help prepare tax returns, answer the phones and make appointments and greeters.

Do most of your volunteers have an accounting background?
No.  Our volunteers come from all types of backgrounds and professions.  Don’t think you have to be an accountant to be a successful volunteer.  Our training program and easy-to-use software will prepare you to successfully help others prepare their taxes.

What type of training do you provide?
Our volunteers are offered a no-cost, comprehensive training program that consists of in-class instruction and self-paced study.  This program will prepare you to take the VITA certification test from the IRS.

What if I don’t know how to do something?
You’ll never be alone and you’ll never have to process a return beyond your comfort zone.  Our instructors and volunteers frequently count on each other to get through some of the more complex returns.

What do you look for in a volunteer?
We look for people who are passionate about helping others.  Because our clients come from all backgrounds and financial situations, we look for volunteers who are patient and possess a good sense of customer service.

What is the time commitment of a VITA volunteer?
Our volunteers typically sign up for a minimum of one four-hour shift a week during tax-prep season.  We’re fortunate to have others who volunteer significantly more hours.  We plan in advance and can be flexible to your schedule.

How can my business or organization help to support VITA?
We always welcome the support of local businesses and organizations.  Financial contributions to assist with our operations, such as ink toner, paper, and financial education programming can be made to Tri-County United Way or WI$H via Cornell Cooperative Extension — Washington County and designated to support the VITA program. We also look for groups that may be able to host VITA sessions at their locations.

Who can I contact to volunteer?
JoAnna Sheridan a[email protected].org  of VITA Warren County
Joan Prouty at 518.746.2560 of VITA Washington County
Amy Sabattis at 518.632.3291 of Warren County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Donna Nicholas at 518.792.6007 of Moreau Community Center