What is the VITA program?
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help to individuals and families that make up to $54,000. Volunteers receive training and certification from the IRS to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations.
AIC operates sites in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties (with the majority of our sites located within the City of Lansing).
How do I volunteer for AIC?
Step 1: Let us know you’re interested
Fill out an interest form below. This is simply an indication of your interest, not a commitment – don’t be shy!
If you are an MSU student, you can volunteer with us directly through MSU’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Student Organization.
Step 2: Attend a volunteer orientation
We will be holding several orientation mixer events in the fall. Come see a tax site, meet your fellow volunteers, and learn more about the program.
Step 3: Get trained
We provide several types of training to help our volunteers become expert tax preparers. All trainings and materials are free.
- Tax law classes: We’ll have several in-person sessions to review basic and advanced tax law.
- Self-study: The IRS offers self-paced online courses to learn tax law as well. https://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/
- Software training/lab: Prepare practice returns using real TaxSlayer software in a low-stress environment.
- Shadow shift: All new volunteers are required to shadow an experienced volunteer before their first shift. This is a great way to see how tax sites operate before you have to do it on your own!
Step 4: The fun part!
Sign up for the shifts and sites you want. We ask our volunteers to sign up for at least 20 hours (5 shifts) during the tax season.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!
Learn more about VITA
When you volunteer for VITA, you’re doing much more than filling out forms – you are often transforming your neighbors’ lives. Watch this video to hear stories about the ripple effect of free tax prep.