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Note: Remember, the tests are open book and not-timed, and you are not required to memorize anything, because you have to be able, in real life, to know how to look up information & how to ask questions. We strongly suggest to review the material found on either:

so you can become familiar with the different tax forms, situations, credits, laws, changes etc.  If you have at least exposed yourself to everything you will FEEL and BE more confident—and it will show.

​We know everyone wants to do accurate returns and be the best tax-preparers they can be, and that is why we created these tools. For you to have a resource that will guide you to information you need. If you have questions, you can always contact us—we are here to help.  Have a great training season!

Study Guides for Basic & Advanced

Tip 1:  Work through and write your answers to all the questions in your test book first. You can enter them in the testing site once you are sure you are done and have reviewed your answers.

Tip 2: Try to find the answers on your own first, so you can get familiar with where the information is located in PUB 4012 or 4491.  If unsure or can’t find it, then by all means use the study guide. We don’t want you to get frustrated or overwhelmed. We just mean this is a learning experience not just pass the test as fast as you can.  Learn how to use your PUB 4012.

Tip 2: We will refer to different Publications in this study guide. You can easily use the links below to access the books  online. When you open a book, use the find feature "Ctrl+F" to type in a keyword to find what you are looking for in the document; or go to the table of contents and index. But pay attention to where they are in the book; because when you are at a live site with a real book in hand, you want to be able to access the information quickly—is it in income, credits, etc.  **You can also access the online books at the site as well, but get used to both.

  • PUB 4012 VITA/TCE Volunteer Resource Guide (our Bible and a requirement to have on hand or online accessible when preparing returns—the IRS checks that we have it)

  • PUB 4491 VITA/TCE Training Guide (this is not a requirement and is not available in print form) This is the same information as is on the Link&Learn modules just in book form.

Once you have completed answering all the test questions in your book, before you submit your answers online on the IRS certification site, input your answers in these online forms to check your work.  Feedback is given--if you get a question incorrect, it will guide you to the resource you should review.  Remember, this is all about learning so we can do the best for our clients.

These are anonymous, we do not collect information about who is using these. I hope you find them useful. It is our hope to reduce anxiety, build confidence, provide feedback by telling the user where to look for help with a question they got wrong--as this will help the user gain knowledge when they research it and redo the answer.
As always, if you find an error, have a suggestion, don't understand something, or need help, please feel free to contact

If your answer DOES NOT match ours, it does not mean you are wrong, we might be. Review your answer then contact us if you disagree. 

Check Your Work Here!

Create an account at the IRS VITA certification site is located on the left side of the screen. Click on Create an Account (When you create your account: complete ONLY the fields with the red asterisk *)   

​Enter the following: 

  • Group- 01 VITA

  • Training Source: Link and Learn (elearning)

  • If this is your first year as a VITA volunteer-- enter (1) for number of years volunteered. *Returning volunteers, make sure to change the # of years

  • Leave SEID field blank

  • PTIN (If you have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)  enter it else leave blank)

  • Make sure to write down your username and password!!!

  • You need to pass each test with a score of 80% or higher. You get (2) two attempts at each test. 

Once you complete ALL your certification tests, Send Proof of Certification to

  • You cannot volunteer without having a Volunteer Agreement Form sent to your program manager.

  • On the right of the screen that shows your test results, click the box that says “You may sign your agreement electronically by checking this box” ii. Then click on the link that appears just below your name iii. It will generate a PDF that you need to save to your computer. Send an email to your program manager with the agreement sent as an attachment. (See image below)

Are you Ready to Take The Test on the IRS Website?

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