In the last 15 years, Food Bank For New York City’s FREE citywide tax assistance program has put more than $1 billion back into the pockets of low-income New Yorkers. We rely on dedicated volunteers to support this impactful anti-poverty work. Whether you have professional financial experience, are studying in a related field, or are excited to gain new skills, we want YOUR help this tax season! Food Bank provides free training and basic IRS tax certification to allow volunteers of all professional backgrounds to get involved.

Benefits of Becoming a Volunteer Tax Preparer with Food Bank

As a Volunteer Tax Preparer, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Return an average of $35,000 in refunds to low-income New Yorkers.
  • Obtain FREE basic IRS tax certification and transferrable financial skills.
  • Build relationships with fellow tax volunteers at weekly sessions from January – April.
  • Earn gift certificates and other fun volunteer perks based on hours served.
FAQs
  • Am I qualified to do someone’s taxes?

    Yes. You do not need to have extensive math or finance experience to become a tax preparer. Food Bank has trained volunteers from all walks of life and backgrounds to assist in our tax services. Volunteers receive an intensive IRS-developed training program specifically for VITA volunteers delivered by expert staff from Food Bank. Every volunteer must pass an IRS certification test; no one is allowed to prepare taxes until they have completed their Volunteer Standards of Conduct, Basic or Advanced Certification, and the Site Coordinator retains their certification on file.

    The tax software guides you through the process with question prompts, and experienced tax preparers and reviewers will be available on site to answer any questions and support you as you are learning to prepare tax returns.

  • English is not my first language, can I still volunteer?

    Yes, please do! Bilingual volunteers allow us to serve and interpret tax laws for non-English speaking residents who are sometimes unaware of their benefits and tax credits.

  • How long will it take me to prepare and submit a tax return?

    Volunteer tax preparers average about an hour per return. However, the time required will vary depending upon the complexity of the return and availability of tax preparers. We ask volunteers to commit a minimum of three hours per week.

  • I am unavailable at the start of the tax season. Can I still volunteer?

    Yes. Food Bank needs volunteers through the entire tax season and offers training and placement through April.

  • What is the Earned Income Tax Credit and why do Food Bank tax volunteers stress this credit?

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program, the largest federal tax benefit program, provides more than $43 billion to low and middle income working families and individuals. The EITC can be worth as much as $5,657 per family. Unfortunately, up to 25% of those eligible are not aware of the program and millions of dollars remain unclaimed by families and individuals in greatest need. Making sure volunteers include the EITC is one of the most effective ways to help families increase their income and get the full refund they are entitled to.

  • Still have questions?