FAQ:

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. 

I can’t travel to sites to serve clients. Can I still play a role?
Yes. One of Food Bank’s largest needs is in our “backend.” The “backend” is a central location in a easy to commute area where volunteers and staff complete tax returns submitted remotely through our drop-off model.
 
But, I can only volunteer on the weekend and week nights. . .
Our “backend” is open in evenings and on the weekends to accommodate all volunteer schedules.

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 that need the money. 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?
Email us at taxvolunteer@foodbanknyc.org  with any questions! 

Practice Resources
IRS Website & Resource Page
Practice Modules (enter code LEARNTWO)
Link & Learn Exam
Link & Learn Exam and Resource Page