Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation for families and individuals with income of $55,000 or less.

This program promotes financial well-being, one of United Way’s nine Steps to Success. Our team of staff and volunteers prepare income tax returns for qualifying families and individuals and advocate for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Our work ensures that tax returns are accurate and everyone receives their full refund and avoids unclaimed tax credits, fees for tax preparation services and refund anticipation loans.

We host many tax sites throughout the Greater Richmond and Petersburg region, all with a range of operating hours between February and April 15th, which ensures everyone will be able to find a time and a place that they can receive free tax assistance.

Partners

  • Capital One

  • Internal Revenue Service VITA Grant

  • Blackwell Community Center
  • Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People
  • Charles City Commissioner of the Revenue
  • Fairfield Area Library
  • Goochland Cares
  • Hanover Department of Social Services
  • HumanKind
  • Libbie Mill Library

  • Meadowdale Library
  • Neighborhood Resource Center
  • Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union
  • Richmond Department of Social Services/Southside Community Service Center
  • Sacred Heart Center
  • University of Richmond – Downtown Campus
  • Virginia Commonwealth University – School of Business

Thank you for your interest in becoming a United Way volunteer for our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program!

No prior knowledge or experience is necessary to volunteer; there are a variety of roles available to match your skills and interests. Click here to watch a video created by the Get It Back Campaign to show you what being a volunteer will be like.

Getting involved is easy – follow our steps below.

  1. Complete the volunteer information form
  2. Attend a volunteer meet and greet information session
  3. Choose a volunteer role
    • VITA sites need different volunteer roles filled to ensure the best help is provided.
  4. Sign up for training
    • You will be trained by IRS-certified tax instructors and receive IRS training materials.
  5. Pass certifications tests
    • Create a Link and Learn account here.
  6. Return signed Form 13615 Volunteer Agreement
  7. Sign up for volunteer shifts

Greeter/Screener

Set a good tone

Do you want to ensure that everyone feels welcome in our tax assistance sites? Greeter/Screeners are the first point of contact for clients entering a United Way VITA site. You will ensure that clients have the necessary documents and direct them through the intake process. This role is crucial to ensuring a smooth and efficient flow.

  • Training: Optional Greeter/Screener training.
  • Certification: Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

Interpreter

Translate for non-English speaking clients

Volunteers in this role provide free interpretation services to clients who are not fluent in English. Basic tax knowledge is helpful for interpreting some financial jargon, but not required.

  • Training: None
  • Certification: Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

Tax Preparer

Do the clients’ taxes

Tax Preparer is the most vital volunteer role at any of our community-based tax sites. You will directly provide free tax preparation services to United Way VITA site clients using IRS-approved online software.

  • Training: May either attend a United Way tax preparation training or use training materials available on the IRS website.
  • Certification: VITA Basic certification is required. Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam.

Quality Reviewer

Double-check returns

All tax returns prepared at United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites must be reviewed for optimal quality before filing. Quality Reviewers look over completed returns to ensure they are accurate and most advantageous to the taxpayer.

  • Training: May either attend a United Way tax preparation training or use training materials available on the IRS website.
  • Certification: VITA Advanced certification is required. Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam.

Assisted Self-Tax Preparation (ASTP) Coach

Help the clients do their taxes

If you would rather help a client learn how to complete their own tax return than prepare it for them, you could volunteer as an ASTP Coach. Volunteers in this role guide eligible individuals through the process of preparing and filing their own returns through a free online service and answer any questions they may have.

  • Training: May either attend a United Way tax preparation training or use training materials available on the IRS website.
  • Certification: VITA Basic certification is required. Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam.

CASH Coach

Provide financial resources

CASH stands for Creating Assets, Savings and Hope. CASH Coaches do that by connecting clients with important financial resources available in their communities. These volunteers promote products and services that encourage saving techniques and financial stability, as well as advocating for the financial and human service needs of clients.

  • Training: Attend a short CASH Coach training.
  • Certification: Must pass Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

Technology Support Specialist/Set-Up & Take-Down Aide

Work with equipment, not taxes

Tech Support Specialists address equipment and software-related issues at a tax site. For those with less tech experience, volunteers in this role may also help with setting up sites before opening and/or packing up after close.

  • Training: None
  • Certification: None

Training is very important to our VITA program. We make sure that all volunteers are prepared when tax season begins.

Training Methods and Resources

Training Methods

Classroom Style Instruction (recommended)

Classroom sessions provide face-to-face training for volunteers working toward their certification. There are several training dates available to ensure all volunteers can attend. New volunteers should sign up for a two day training that will cover Volunteer Standards of Conduct, Intake/Interview & Quality Review process, Tax Law, ACA and TaxSlayer software training. Classroom style training is recommended for new volunteers. There is a one day refresher course for returning volunteers.

Click here to see the training schedule.

Self-Study

Volunteer tax preparers have the option to complete tax training independently through an e-learning platform. Independent study is recommended for returning volunteers and those with tax preparation experience.

Self-study training modules will be available soon.

Resources

  • Join the Taxpayer Opportunity Network: A free nationwide network of volunteer tax preparers. Stay up-to-date on community tax preparation through monthly updates, online learning and exclusive information.

United Way VITA Information Sessions

Where: United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23230

When: 

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Learn more about United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and be part of a great team of volunteers. At this training you will hear from existing volunteers, learn about the training options and receive information about certification requirements. Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcome. Spanish/English bilingual preparers, retirees, students and those with financial backgrounds are highly encouraged to participate.

United Way’s VITA program offers free tax preparation for families and individuals with income of $56,000 or less.

Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP NOW

United Way VITA Greeter/Screener Training

Where: United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23230

When: 

  • Monday, December 16, 2019, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, January 6, 2020, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This is a training for new and returning volunteers who will serve in the Greeter/Screener role. By the end of this training you will be familiar with the Intake/Interview Form and the screening process. Volunteers will receive reference materials and the test/retest at the training along with information about VITA sites. All certification tests are open book.

Dinner will be provided.

RSVP NOW

United Way VITA Quality Review Training

When: Monday, January 13, 2020, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23230

This is a training for returning volunteers who will serve in the Quality Review role at a tax site. By the end of this training you will be familiar with the Quality Review process and be able to effectively serve in this role.

Dinner will be provided.

United Way VITA New Volunteer Training

Where: United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23230

When: 

Note: Must be present for both days of training from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

This two day training will cover the information necessary for a volunteer to pass the IRS certification test at the Basic level. Volunteers will receive reference materials and the test/retest at the training along with information about VITA sites. All certification tests are open book; the focus not on memorization but to learn how to use the reference materials.

This training is recommended for all first-time VITA Volunteers. Once completed, first time volunteers are encouraged to complete the Advanced tax law training online. In testing, one does not need to certify at Basic before certifying at the Advanced level.

Lunch and snacks will be provided.

United Way VITA Returning Volunteer Training

Where: United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23230

When: 

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 18, 2020, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

This one day training will cover the information necessary for a volunteer to pass the IRS certification tests. Volunteers will receive reference materials and the test/retest at the training along with information about VITA sites. All certification tests are open book; the focus not on memorization but to learn how to use the reference materials.

This training is recommended for all returning VITA Volunteers.

Lunch and snacks will be provided.

RSVP NOW

Volunteer Login

What you need to know about United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program

If your household income is $55,000 or less, you are eligible for free income tax preparation through a VITA site.

Your taxes will be prepared by IRS-certified volunteers. Each return is screened by a Quality Reviewer on site to ensure accuracy.

We have many tax sites located across the Greater Richmond & Petersburg region, with a variety of operating hours to ensure everybody has the opportunity to receive help.

Personal Information (bring all documents)

  • Valid Picture ID
  • Taxpayer Identification Number: Social Security Card, Social Security Number verification letter, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Proof of Income (bring all documents that apply)

  • W-2s for all jobs last year
  • 1099s for any other income received last year
  • Statements for prizes, scholarships/fellowships or lottery/gambling winnings

Proof of Health Insurance (bring all documents that apply)

  • 1095-A if you had coverage through the HealthCare.gov (Obamacare)
  • 1095-B or 1095-C if you had other kinds of insurance or coverage

Additional Items (bring all documents that apply)

  • Checking and Savings Account Information to have your refund directly deposited to your account
  • Tax Return from last year, if available
  • Child Care Expenses: Provider’s address and federal tax ID number
  • Homeowners: Mortgage statements and property tax bills
  • Education: College tuition and student loan statements
  • Alimony: Paid or received
  • Notices: IRS, state tax, health insurance marketplace or anything that says “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT”

Please have all documents ready at the time of your visit.

Thank you for your interest in filing your taxes with United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Find a tax site below that works for you.

Charles City

Charles City Commissioner of the Revenue
10780 Courthouse Road
Room 103
Charles City, VA 23030

March 7 – April 12

Monday – Friday
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Charles City Residents only. Call (804) 652-2162 to schedule your appointment.

Chesterfield

Meadowdale Library
4301 Meadowdale Boulevard
North Chesterfield, VA 23234

February 5 – April 9

Tuesday
12:00-5:00 p.m.

Walk-ins only.

Goochland

Goochland Cares
2999 River Road West
Goochland, VA 23063

February 6 – April 10

Tuesday
(2/12, 3/12, 4/9)
4:00-7:00 p.m.
Wednesday
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
1:00-4:00 p.m.

Goochland Residents only. Call (804) 556-0605 to schedule your appointment.

Hanover

Hanover Department of Social Services
12304 Washington Highway
Ashland, VA 23005

February 5 – April 9

Tuesday
5:00-7:00 p.m.

Walk-ins only.

Henrico

Fairfield Library
1001 N. Laburnum Avenue
Henrico, VA 23223

February 2 – March 9

Saturday
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Walk-ins only.


Libbie Mill Library
2100 Libbie Lake East Street
Richmond, VA 23230

February 6 – April 11

Wednesday & Thursday
4:00-8:00 p.m.

Walk-ins only.

Petersburg

Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union
110 Wagner Road
Petersburg, VA 23805

February 4 – April 15

Drop-Off Service Times

Monday & Tuesday
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday
10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Appointment Times

Tuesday
5:00-7:00 p.m.

Call (804) 748-3081 to schedule your appointment.

Richmond

Blackwell Community Center
300 East 15th Street
Richmond, VA 23224

January 28 – April 3

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
6:00-8:00 p.m.

Closed when Richmond City Schools are closed.


CAPUP Richmond
1103 Oliver Hill Way
Richmond, VA 23219

February 1 – April 12

Monday
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Friday
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Saturday
(1st and 3rd Saturday only)
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Closed on February 18.


HumanKind
908 North Thompson Street
1st Floor
Richmond, VA 23230

February 14 – April 11

Drop-Off Service Times

Thursday
12:30-4:30 p.m.

Call (804) 461-3585 to schedule your appointment.


Neighborhood Resource Center
1519 Williamsburg Road
Richmond, VA 23231

February 2 – April 2

Tuesday
(2/5, 2/19, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2)
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Saturday
(2/2, 2/16, 3/2, 3/16, 3/30)
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Walk-ins only.


Richmond Department of Social Services
4100 Hull Street
Richmond, VA 23224

February 5 – April 3

Tuesday & Wednesday
2:00-6:00 p.m.

Walk-ins only.


Sacred Heart Center
1400 Perry Street
Richmond, VA 23224

February 11 – April 15

Monday & Wednesday
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Closed 2/18 & 3/6. Walk-ins only.


University of Richmond
626 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

February 5 – April 11

Tuesday & Thursday
3:45-7:00 p.m.
Saturday
(2/9, 2/23, 3/2, 3/23, 4/6)
9:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Closed 3/12 & 3/14. Walk-ins only.


Virginia Commonwealth University
301 W. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23284

March 17 – April 13

Saturday
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Foreign Student/International only or self-prep.

Thank you for your interest in United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

For information, please contact:

Cara Cardotti
THRIVE Collaborative Manager & Program Director
(804) 775-6433
cardottic@yourunitedway.org