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Step By Step Instructions to Complete your VITA certification

Step 1: Create an account on Link & Learn Taxes:

  • Name & Address must match your Drivers license or State Issued ID EXACTLY.
  • Use this website to take the online exam after completing the online training and practice exercises.
  • Create a new account (returning volunteers can log in). This account will include personal information needed to register as a VITA volunteer.
    • When all exams for the desired certification level have been passed, complete the “Volunteer Agreement”. A copy of this document must be on file at each VITA location at which a volunteer serves.

Step 2: Complete "Volunteer Standards of Conduct" & "Intake/Interview & Quality Review Trainings

  • All volunteers are required to complete the “Volunteer Standards of Conduct” course and exam.
  • Volunteers who answer tax law questions, prepare tax returns, or quality review must complete the “Intake/Interview & Quality Review" training and exam in addition to the "Volunteer Standards of Conduct"
  • You can prepare / review for both of these tests with links on the right hand column of the test.

Step 3: Complete VITA Certification Exam
Choose Basic OR Advanced. You do not have to take Basic if you choose Advanced.
Once you have completed your training, you are ready to take the exam! The online exam is on the Link & Learn Certification website. The exam is untimed, open book, and you are able to save your answers to complete the exam at a later time. We suggest that you use the test book to take the test on paper, and enter your answers online later. You are allowed to use all available resources to answer the questions. The passing score is 80% and you will have two attempts. Here is what you will need:

  • Publication 4012 (Volunteer Resource Guide): This guide will be your ultimate resource! It will have everything that you will need to complete a tax return.
  • Publication 4491 (VITA Training Guide)
  • Publication 6744 (VITA Test/Retest): This is the printed certification exam. It will have the same questions that will be on the exam. It is recommended to work through the scenarios and answer the questions on paper, then log into the Link & Learn Certification website to input your answers. The Basic and Advance certification exams consist of two parts (remember, you do not need to complete the Basic exam before taking the Advanced exam):
    • The first few scenarios do not require you to prepare a tax return. Read the interview notes for each scenario carefully and use your training and resource materials to answer the questions after the scenarios.
    • The last few scenarios require you to prepare a tax return. Read through the interview notes and complete the tax return using the Practice Lab. After you have successfully completed the return using your resource materials, answer the corresponding questions that are based on the tax return that you just prepared. Example: A question may be "What is the amount listed on the 1040 line 8a?"

Step 4: Take Certification Exam on Link & Learn Taxes

  • Once you have completed all necessary exams, you will log into the Link & Learn Certification website ( and complete your exam online. Refer to the Getting Started Guide on how to access the exams

Step 5: Sign your Volunteer Agreement

  • The Volunteer Standards of Conduct Agreement shows all of the certification exams that you have completed. All volunteers must sign and date the Volunteer Agreement electronically to certify their adherence of the VITA Program Requirements. Upload it below along with your state issued photo ID.

See next: FAQS


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