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VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service to help older, disabled, non-English speaking or low income taxpayers who need assistance and for whom professional tax preparation may be out of reach. Volunteers prepare basic tax returns using online software. A tax coordinator is available to handle difficult questions or returns. Law School tax courses are NOT required. Intake and interview volunteer positions also available.

Training: Self-study course and online exam

Purpose of pro bono opportunity

  1. To provide opportunities for law students to work on behalf of clients
  2. To provide skills development and enhancement opportunities for law students
  3. To create an awareness of the problems and rewards of being a tax preparer
  4. To prepare accurate tax returns for low income and elderly clients in SC

Requirements or qualifications

Law students must:

  1. be a good academic standing
  2. complete and submit the Volunteer Enrollment Form
  3. have completed and passed the proper VITA Certification tests
  4. have an interest in providing accurate information to clients
  5. have an interest in either preparing tax returns or interviewing clients.
  6. must be willing to work as past of team.

Responsibilities of organizations

The Pro Bono Program and The VITA coordinator must:

  1. agree to properly supervise the work of the law student
  2. provide clear and timely instructions
  3. provide updates and assist with problem solving
  4. provide feedback when possible.

Responsibilities of the students

The students must:

  1. communicate effectively and efficiently with clients
  2. complete tasks in a timely and competent manner
  3. seek assistance when needed
  4. perform duties professionally
  5. treat this volunteer opportunity as if it was a paying or for-credit position
  6. must keep up to date on tax preparation software and information

Skills Opportunities

The following Core Skills may be associated with this particular volunteer opportunity. Not all tasks will contain all of these skills. See the complete Core Competencies & Skills Inventory for more details.

  • Core Skill: Oral Communication and Listening Abilities
  • Core Skill: General Research Skills
  • Core Skill: Critical Reading Abilities
  • Core Skill: Task Organization and Management
  • Core Skills: Professionalism


Next Steps?

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