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Returning Preparer Requirements

Questions? Click here to view our volunteer FAQs.

Returning preparers are expected to certify at the advanced Level.

All returning preparers are expected to attend “Returning Preparer”. And are encouraged to attend “Challenging Tax Topics” which covers Ride Share, Education Credits, Pensions (taxable unknown and disability) among other topics.

For a more in depth review of tax law, review Pub. 4491: VITA Training Guide, or the IRS Link and Learn training online (See the “Quick Links” section at: .

  • Step 1- Register as a Tax Preparer: (don’t forget to update the number of years you have been a volunteer).
  • Step 2 Register for Training:
    • Consult the table below to determine your training requirements.
    • Consult the training calendar to determine which dates/locations you prefer (Click here for calendar of training dates.)
    • Check your confirmation email for the link to register for Preparer Training.
  • Step 3: Complete these 2 IRS exams online: (1) Volunteer Standards of Conduct and (2) Intake & Interview exam. (Click here for certification instructions.)
  • Step 4: Get ready for training by viewing the TaxPayer Opportunity Network Returning Volunteers Training 
  • Step 5: Attend In-Person Training
  • Step 6: Take the IRS Advanced Exam.
  • Step 7: After completing your tax law exam, print your volunteer agreement.
  • Step 8: Attend site orientation (don’t forget your Volunteer Agreement and photo ID).
  • Step 9: Volunteer!
Training Requirements Returning Preparers who did not

certify at Advanced last year

Returning Preparers who

certified at Advanced last year

IRS Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam
(IRS certification platform)
IRS Intake & Interview Exam
(IRS certification platform)
Getting to Advanced
(register using link in Step 3 above)
Not Required
Returning Preparer Updates
Strongly Recommended
Strongly  Recommended
(Required for Seasonal Staff)
Challenging Tax Topics
(Required for Seasonal Staff)
Review Essentials
Not available
(Required for Seasonal Staff and for reviewers who
did not take the class in the past two years.)

Click here for Certification Testing and Practice Lab instructions.

The 4012 and test booklet will be available in hard copy at in-person trainings. The 4491 is available online.

Links to IRS training resources online:

Questions?  See our Volunteer FAQ

Return to Volunteer Training Page

Step By Step Training Registration:

  1. You will receive an email with the link to Tax Preparer Training classes in your confirmation email.
  2. Click on the link in the email to see the list of classes. (Click here to see calendar list of classes.)
  3. You will see a list of classes sorted by date and time. To see all the dates a particular class is offered, click on “Event Name” to sort the list by class name.
  4. Select your class choice, then “Click Here to Register”
  5. Enter your email address and first name
  6. On the next screen enter your password (if you have not done so already, check your email for an email with your temporary password)
  7. Choose your first training class
  8. If you need to add another class, select your name in the drop down box (if you and your family member use the same phone number, you may see more than one name)
  9. Select the class from the list at the bottom of the page. (To use the search feature, use the search field at the bottom of the gray box)
  10. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see all of the events you are registered for.  [If you and another family member are using the same email address, you will see the events for everyone using that email address.]
  11. To log, out, look for the “Logout” link at the top of the page