Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have prior experience in finance or preparing taxes?
No! Our volunteers come from all types of career backgrounds and age groups, from retirees to college students and everything in between. We only ask you to have basic computer skills, be willing to complete training, and be driven to help others. Our comprehensive training program will fully prepare you for helping your friends and neighbors.

What is the training like?
Our training happens over three 4-hour sessions over three days at our primary location at the South Washington Office Complex located at 2500 S. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48910. Lecture portions cover relevant sections of the tax code and hands-on portions allow volunteers to practice preparing returns and working through typical situations. In short, by the time your first client sits in front of you, you’ll be well prepared!

How many hours will I need to volunteer?
We ask volunteers to serve for one, four-hour shift per week for the 10 weeks of tax season. However we have a wide range of shifts available for you to sign up for, and you will have flexibility in selecting when works for you.

Where will I volunteer?
You will be able to choose from several of our locations in the Lansing Capital Area
(Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties), with most of our volunteers working at our main location at the South Washington Office Complex, located at 2500 S. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48910.

What happens if I make an error?
Errors happen to everyone. What makes the VITA program have such a high accuracy rate (94+%) is our two-step process, not found with paid tax preparers: a thorough, unhurried tax preparation process and a quality review where a veteran volunteer checks the original tax preparer’s work before submission. This means every return has at least two-sets of eyes that review the work and that nearly every mistake can be caught. If a mistake is made, amendments can be filed to rectify the error, and you as a volunteer are not liable for any honest mistakes. I still have questions!Please reach out to Nick Miller at 517-203-5014 or by email at N.Miller@micauw.org.

How do I sign up?
Sign up for our opportunity through the United Way’s Volunteer Center! All trainings and volunteer shift are posted there for your convenience.You can also view our guide found here (linked to Volunteer Center Sign-Up tutorial, included in documents)