Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

IRS Certification

To participate in New York Cares Tax Prep Program, volunteers must complete IRS Certified Tax Preparer Training. This training is provided at no cost to the volunteer.

Steps to IRS Training & Certification

1. Attend Tax Prep Info Session
2. Attend In-Person Training (optional but highly recommended)

Training Options:

  • 3-Hour Tax Training Express: In-person basic tax law course + at-home IRS Certification exam (Evening & Daytime Options)
  • 6-Hour Tax Training + Certification: In-person basic tax law course + IRS Certification review with a tax expert + at-home IRS Certification exam (Weekend Options)
  • 3-Hour Advanced Training: Optional training for volunteers looking to pass the Advanced IRS Certification (Evening and Daytime Options)
  • Tax-Wise Training: Training specifically for volunteers looking to serve in Long Island City, Queens (Evening and Daytime Options)


3. Complete online Link & Learn IRS Certification
4. Sign up for Tax Site Shift
5. VOLUNTEER (Mid-January through Mid-April)


Not sure which IRS training is right for you? Follow this decision tree to get on the right path.


Tax Prep | Training FAQ

What is Link and Learn?

Link and Learn is the platform on which VITA Tax IRS certification is administered.

How many tests do I need to pass to become certified?
  1. 2019 Volunteer Standards of Conduct Training (10 questions)

  2. 2019 Intake/Interview and Quality Review Training (10 questions)

  3. 2019 Basic Exam OR 2019 Advance Exam.

You only need to answer 80% of the questions correctly and you have two chances to pass the test.


If I was tax certified last year, do I have to take the tests again?

Yes, tax law, policies, and procedures change frequently. For this reason, New York Cares Tax Prep volunteers are required to recertify every year.

Take a Look at Tax Shifts

Visit the map linked here to view all weekly or bi-weekly shift options. You may reserve your spot if you've attended a training.