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

Course Introduction

Volunteer Responsibilities

Due Diligence

Due diligence means doing your part to ensure tax returns are correct. As an IRS-certified volunteer, you must ensure the information on the return you are preparing or reviewing is correct and complete.

Doing your part includes:

  • Confirming a taxpayer's (and spouse if applicable) identity
  • Providing top-quality service by helping taxpayers understand and meet their tax responsibilities
  • Making sure the facts presented by the taxpayer paint a reasonable picture

Generally you can rely on good faith for taxpayer information without requiring documentation as verification. However, you should exercise caution when taxpayers want to claim a refundable credit such as EITC or education credits, especially if these credits are maximized.

The top 4 things to remember about due diligence are:

  1. Do your part to ensure a tax return is correct.
  2. Question any unusual, inconsistent, or incomplete items.
  3. If you are unsure about a deduction or credit, make an effort to research the answer, or ask another certified volunteer for assistance.
  4. Remind taxpayers that when they sign their tax returns, they are stating under penalty of perjury that the return is accurate to the best of their knowledge.
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