Strengthening the Volunteer Programs

IRS’s office of Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication is committed to providing top quality tax return preparation for taxpayers with low-to-moderate incomes. Our success depends largely on our volunteers and on our ability to understand and work collaboratively to address diverse taxpayer needs.

We will continue to enhance the process used in the VITA and TCE Programs to improve the quality of volunteer-prepared returns. Full partner engagement and stakeholder feedback will continue to drive change. We have learned valuable lessons from previous filing seasons and plan to refine our quality service.

  • Five Core Strategies - These are the main themes that drive the quality improvement process for the VITA and TCE Programs.


  • VITA/TCE Quality Site Requirements- All taxpayers using the services offered through VITA or TCE should be confident that they are receiving accurate return preparation and quality service. The goal is to ensure quality and accuracy of return preparation and the consistent operation of sites. All partners and site coordinators must understand and use the QSRs to ensure IRS' and partners' mutual objectives are met.


  • Intake/Interview and Quality Review Processes - A basic component of quality service and accurate return preparation is having an effective interview and conversation with the taxpayer. Equally important is to finish by reviewing each return to verify the taxpayer's information is correct.


  • Volunteer Reporting and Certification Process (Forms 13206 and 13615) - The IRS recognizes the importance of the VITA/TCE Programs in serving low income and elderly taxpayers as well as the critical role its partners and volunteers play. In concert with its partners, SPEC continues to explore opportunities to improve the quality of its volunteer programs. For more information regarding Continuing Education requirements, the Form 13615 and the application process for Continuing Education Credits, please refer to Publication 1084.


  • Prior Year Return Preparation- These are the guidelines for VITA and TCE Programs and Sites that prepare prior year returns - As a seasoned volunteer site, your site may be preparing prior year tax returns. Our goal is to ensure that you are equipped with the necessary tools to prepare accurate prior year returns. We recommend that volunteer sites only prepare the last three prior years.
    The following are procedures that will assist your site in preparing accurate returns for prior years.