Welcome to VITA!

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is free tax return preparation. University of Oregon accounting and law students will offer their trained expertise to prepare tax returns for students and members of the community at no cost. No appointment is necessary; clients are served on a first-come, first-served basis. Our VITA site is a basic volunteer site, meaning we can only perform basic tax returns. We cannot provide service for those filing an international return. If you are wondering whether or not we can provide service to you, please email Brett Christian.

 

What to bring:

  • Social Security card
  • Photo ID
  • Tax Documents (W-2s, 1099s, etc.)

 

Location

Braddock Tutoring Center, Lillis 155
Lillis Business Complex
955 E 13th Ave. (13th & Kincaid Streets)
Eugene, OR 97403

Directions or Map

 

If you have any question about having your taxes prepared please contact us via:

  • Email: uobap.externalaffairs@uoregon.edu
  • Phone: (541) 346-9197

Becoming a Volunteer

We are so excited for you to become part of the VITA program! Thank you very much for taking the time to certify and volunteer. Your participation benefits so many people, including you!

First, if you have not done so already put your name on the VITA sign up list that went around the BAP meeting last term, email Brett Christian to get on our mailing list. We email important information regularly, so please send an email address that you check often!

 

Review Sessions

Review sessions will take place in sometime in the next few weeks. Specific dates and times are still TBA, as we are in the process of reserving the room. More information on when and where will be here, on the calendar, and delivered to you through email as soon as possible.

We will have several review sessions, (hopefully) two basic level review sessions and two intermediate level review sessions. Everyone is required to attend a basic session! Those that are certifying at the intermediate level will be required to attend one intermediate level session in addition to a basic session. Please bring the following:

– All VITA books
– Calculator
– Supplies to take notes
– Photo ID
– All of your work from the test (including forms)
– Any questions you have
– Completed answer sheet

You will turn in your answer sheet from the test before the session begins; directions on how to record answers will be explained below. We will go through the test together, and answer any questions you had along the way.

We will then show you how to take the official test online (it uses the exact same questions that you have in the book), give a more detailed overview of the program and what to expect, and have you complete 1-2 practice returns using the tax software and resources you will have on VITA days.

*If you wish to take the online test prior to our review session, please bring your certificate and signed Form 13615 to the first review session you attend, instead of your answer sheet. Keep in mind, taking the test early does not exempt you from attending the review session!

 

VITA Training Directions

Feel free to write in the VITA books! Though, you will turn them in at the review session for someone else to use after you, so don’t write anything you do not wish anyone else to see!

The Training Guide (Book 4491) is your reference for all the information needed when taking the written test. The test questions may have little tricks designed to test the small details involved, so read carefully!

The Practice Problems (Book 4491W) has extra problems for you to practice if you so choose, but we will not be using this book as a group.

The Resource Guide (Spiral 4012) has labeled tabs designed for quick reference of general information. This will not have all the information you will need as you go through the test, but it organizes the information in tables, steps, and decision trees that make it easier to understand and follow. **We will be using this on VITA days, and becoming familiar with this book will be extremely helpful!

The black and white Assistor’s Test (Book 6744) is the testing book. For the basic test, answer the questions on pages 1-1 through 1-23. The test is set up in several different scenarios, each of which will require you to answer a few questions based on the specific information given for hypothetical taxpayers. You will be required to fill out tax forms (Form 1040, supporting schedules, etc.) for some of the scenarios, all of which can be found via the search box at www.irs.gov.

For those who were not able to get books, here are some helpful links:

Pub 17 Main Tax Law Reference Guide
Pub 970 Education Benefits
Instructions 1040
Pub 4012 Volunteer Resource Guide
Pub 4491 Alternate Training Resource
Form 6744 Test Book

Every form has instructions that you will need to reference, which can also be found via the search box on the IRS website. I suggest printing out the forms, use pencil (not pen), and have an eraser handy. If you’re anything like me, you might feel discouraged at the sight of all the information the form asks for; just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and start at the beginning of Form 1040. The easiest way is to go line by line through the 1040, and as you go, complete the information and additional forms that are relevant to the facts given by that scenario.

If you’re going to be intermediate certified – which we strongly recommend – I suggest you begin the intermediate test before coming to the basic review session as well. This test is on pages 2-1 through 2-13, and has four additional scenarios with a total of 20 questions. This should take longer than the basic test to complete, so be sure to give yourself enough time to finish before the intermediate level review session.

If you have any further questions about volunteering, please email Brett Christian.