Are there tools to help me with certification online? Yes
Click here http://www.voltaxprep.com/. To access the practice lab enter the password “learntwo.”
When you enter this site, you will be able to prepare tax returns to practice what you just learned in Link & Learn Taxes. We recommend that you use the problems and exercises contained in Publication 4491 W, VITA/TCE Workbook, Comprehensive Problems and Practice Exercises. These problems and exercises were specifically designed to cover the types of tax returns that VITA/TCE volunteers encounter at their volunteer sites.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need these training materials. Or see below for links.
Where can I download the VITA/TCE training and reference materials?
Please click here http://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html
Enter the desired Form number in the “Find Box”. Form 4491 for VITA/TCE Student Training Guide; Form 6744 for VITA/TCE Volunteer Assistor’s Test/Retest and for Form 4942 for Cancellation of Debt.
WE RECOMMEND TAKING THE “PAPER TESTS” BEFORE TAKING THE EXAMS ONLINE.
There will be scenarios and problems that require you to prepare Form 1040. To make it easier and help you answer those questions please access the “Practice Lab” and complete Form 1040. See the link above.
Ready to take the VITA certification test online? Follow these steps:
You will need to complete the self-registration for a login and password for the online test. Safeguard your login and password, and keep it for future reference.
2. The tests will include scenarios and/or problems that require you to prepare Form 1040 to answer the questions pertaining to those scenarios. To access Form 1040, we suggest that: (a) you access Practice Lab http://www.voltaxprep.com/ (b) choose “interview” tab and type the inforrmation being requested. When finish completing Form 1040, (3) you are ready to take the exam ONLINE. Goodluck!
Certification Levels for Volunteer Tax Preparers are Basic, Advanced, Military, and International.
Depending on the level of certification, volunteers are taught to correctly identify filing status and to prepare returns with wages, tips, interest, dividends, unearned income, Social Security, retirement income and self-employed income for Schedule C-EZ. Filling in Schedules C, D, and E are not part of the training or requirement for VITA volunteers.
All volunteers must complete the Basic course. Volunteers who are certified in Basic can prepare returns within the scope of the Basic course. Volunteers can stop with Basic or proceed with other courses. Volunteers can only prepare returns for the level at which they have been certified. Quality reviewers and Instructors must be certified at the advance level or higher.
When you enter this site http://www.voltaxprep.com/, you will be able to prepare tax returns and answer questions being asked while taking the test.
- We recommend you complete the courses for which you wish to be certified, take the “paper tests” and then complete the applicable test(s) for certification by clicking https://www.linklearncertification.com/d/ . If you are an experienced volunteer, you can select the returning student path and then take the applicable test(s) for certification.
Do I have to take the Basic before taking any of the other three courses? The instructions for taking the courses online and the instructions for certification are different. An explanation is provided below.
Courses Online Instructions
On Link & Learn Taxes, each course is self-contained. If you select the Basic tab, it includes just the Basic course. If you select the Advanced tab, it includes just Advanced lessons and so on.
Certification Online Instructions
For the certification (testing), you must pass the Basic test before you can proceed forward with any of the other three tests: Advanced, Military or International. The passing score is 80%.
Can I use references to complete the test? The test is an open book test. You can use forms, instructions and other reference materials to take the test.
What tax year does the test use for answers to the questions? For the paper test and the online test, the answers will only be based on 2013 tax rates, deductions and exemptions. It is very important that volunteers have the experience and become familiar with the tax year for the returns they will be preparing at VITA sites.
What if I do not pass a test on my first attempt? On the paper test, there is a test and retest. For the online test, you are allowed a total of two attempts at certification for each test. For the online test, the questions are randomized from the pool of questions from the paper test and retest. The result is a different test on each attempt.
How much time does it take to complete the test? The final time it takes for each certification test will depend on the person’s training and experience. In general, the Basic takes approximately 45 minutes; Advanced 45 to 1 hour; and Military and International each take approximately 1.5 hours.
What if I am unable to complete an online test in one session? The online system will bookmark where you stop in an online test. When you log back into the online test, it will show “in progress” for the test you were taking. Just click on that link to continue with the test.
What if I need to change an answer on the online test? In the online test there is the “back” button so you can change your answer to a question. At the end of the test there will be a message display of answers and any questions that have not been answered. You will need to complete all questions and then hit the submit key. Use the HELP link at the top of the screen which provides test tips that will avoid input errors.
What documentation can I obtain if I certify through the online test with Link & Learn Taxes? Once you successfully complete a test you can print a course certificate. You will need to load Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or later on your computer.
Is the Volunteer Agreement available in the online test? Yes, the Volunteer Agreement is available. Once you successfully complete a test online, you can print or save a copy of your Volunteer Agreement. There is a link on the test home page in the upper right hand corner of the screen. You will need to load Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or later on your computer.
What is the passing score for certification? The passing score for the test for each course is 80%.