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Become a Certified Volunteer Tax Preparer at Food Bank!

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We need your help this tax season! Food Banks’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program has put more than $1 billion back into the pockets of low-income New Yorkers.
For over 20 years, Food Bank For New York City’s FREE citywide tax assistance program has put more than $1.4 billion back into the pockets of low-income New Yorkers and has saved filers over $200 million in tax preparation fees. We operate an IRS-sponsored VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and rely on hundreds of dedicated volunteers to ensure filers get the refunds they deserve, which reduces poverty and food insecurity.
For Tax Season 2024, we need volunteer support in three models of tax filing services:

  1. In-Person VITA Тax Preparer: Volunteers work alongside Food Bank tax staff at various community-based locations across NYC to assist tax clients on-site.
  2. In-Person Back End Tax Preparer: Volunteers work alongside tax staff at Food Bank’s Back End tax preparation centers to complete returns submitted electronically from our network of Intake Sites across NYC.
  3. Remote VITA Tax Preparer: Volunteers use a computer with internet access to prepare returns remotely and securely from home/work supported by Food Bank tax staff to help individuals file returns virtually.

We rely on dedicated volunteers to support this impactful anti-poverty work. No financial experience needed – volunteers of all professional backgrounds welcome!


How Do I Get Started

If you are interested in participating in our 2024 season, please express interest here and check out our Volunteer Portal for updates!

View a list of available training dates and registration links on our Volunteer Portal.

The trainings will consist of an overview of the VITA program, tax law review, NY state tax law and how to prepare tax returns using Tax Slayer. The trainings are intended for volunteers that are in the process of studying for or have already completed the IRS Link & Learn exams. Please ensure that you have created your Link & Learn and Tax Slayer accounts in advance of your training date.

  1. All volunteers must complete IRS Certification modules and exams via Link & Learn in order to participate.
  2. Work through the certification modules at your convenience. We estimate first-time volunteers will need between 10-15 hours to complete them all – which you can take straight through or break up into increments that work for you!
  3. Study!
    1. Check out our VITA Essential Links and Information Guide here for access to additional resources, study guides and test helpers!
    2. Check out our Study Guide Videos.
    3. Utilize the Tax Slayer Practice Lab. (Universal Password: TRAINPROWEB)
  4. Complete and pass these three Link & Learn exams: 1) Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam, 2) Intake/Interview and Quality Review Exam, 3) Basic or Advanced Certification Exam.
    1. Be sure to review the PDF versions of the exams (which are linked on the VITA Essential Links and Information Guide) first and remember that the exams are open book!

After passing all 3 IRS exams, generate and electronically sign your Volunteer Agreement (Form 13615) from Link & Learn. The form must be signed and must show passing scores for all 3 exams. Email the completed form to us at prior to starting your volunteer service.

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