Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Course Introduction

Scope of Service

Types of Returns Volunteers Can Prepare

You must only assist with returns, supporting schedules, and forms for which you have been trained and certified. You are protected by the federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 as long as you are only preparing returns within the scope of the VITA/TCE programs. The training resources and tools discussed in this guide only support the completion of a basic Form 1040 and associated tax forms. Review the front of the Volunteer Resource Guide for a list of tax law topics within the scope of the VITA/TCE programs.


Remember to refer taxpayers with tax situations outside your scope of training and certification to your Site Coordinator and/or to a professional tax return preparer.


Every return prepared at VITA/TCE sites must be identified with the appropriate site identification number (SIDN) to ensure that all volunteer-prepared returns are readily identifiable by the IRS. Your site's SIDN is an 8-digit number preceded by the letter S that must appear in the Paid Preparer Use Only section on all returns you prepare. Your Site Coordinator will provide this number along with other necessary guidelines for completing the return.