Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Clinic - Tax Return Preparation Volunteer

Tax Return Preparation Volunteer


Catholic Charities manages an IRS-sponsored Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. The site provides tax return preparation (at no cost) for low- and moderate-income families from February 1 through April 15. All volunteer services will be performed remotely.   


Volunteer Tax Return Preparation Volunteers provide high-quality tax assistance to individuals and families in need. This ensures people living on low income maximize their tax benefits. VITA volunteers also enable taxpayers to avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous “storefront” preparers who charge high fees. 


Tax Return Preparation Volunteers will be responsible for:

  • Ensuring taxpayers have all necessary forms
  • Communicating with taxpayers when there is any missing information 
  • Preparing federal and state tax returns using IRS cloud-based software 
  • Communicating with a VITA Quality Reviewer if there are any questions about the return 
  • Reviewing tax returns and documents for accuracy with the taxpayer before it is electronically submitted to the IRS 

Desired Skills, Experience, and Characteristics:

  • Typically, return preparers include law students with an interest in tax or clinical work, CPAs, attorneys and other financial professionals with some experience in tax principles


  • Tax return preparers need to pass an online IRS competency exam. 
  • The Catholic Charities VITA site provides training sessions on the key areas of tax law needed to take the IRS exam and provides computer lab training on the use of the IRS cloud-based tax software used in the return process.

Volunteer Benefits:

  • Make a positive difference in the economic lives of the taxpayers they serve
  • The taxpayers who participate in the Catholic Charities VITA program are always appreciative of the time and energy of volunteers 
  • Volunteer remotely


  • Volunteers are supported by prior Catholic Charities staff, senior volunteers in the program, and professionals from the Columbus School of Law who provide training and administrative resources

Time Commitment:

  • Tax preparation volunteers will need to attend virtual training sessions (12 hours in total) and take the IRS exam. 
  • The Catholic Charities VITA site is open from February 1 – April 15. Volunteers are asked to complete twelve tax returns during this time frame.

Location: This is a remote volunteer opportunity

Next Steps:

  • Due Dec 31: Fill out an application 
  • December: Hear from staff about training schedule for January
  • January: Attend trainings for VITA clinic
  • February 1: Begin volunteering!