Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Course
ACCT 160 and 161
If you are a taxpayer and want help in preparing and filing your taxes, please click on the "VITA Home Page" tab on the left. The information below describes the course that the preparers will complete as they assist you.
ACCT 160, VITA I is only offered Spring semester and is for students who would like to help taxpayers prepare and file federal and California income tax returns. The American River College prerequisite to enroll is the completion of ACCT 125, Federal and State Income Tax. The instructor will consider substitutes for the prerequisite including the documented completion of a tax course with a commercial tax preparer (e.g. H&R Block). To stay enrolled in the course and prior to completing tax returns, students are required to pass an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exam. Study materials are provided by the IRS free.
In completing this course students will:
- Demonstrate basic income tax knowledge by passing the Internal Revenue Service income tax exam required of VITA assisters.
- Interview taxpayer/clients to obtain income tax data; assess the information for accuracy and relevance.
- Review commercially available income tax software, and become proficient in its use.
- Research and apply tax laws, regulations, and Internal Revenue Service bulletins on updates to tax laws, rules and VITA administration.
- Work in teams to prepare and review income tax returns.
ACCT 161, VITA II is only offered in Spring semester and is for students who have completed ACCT 160. Students enrolled in ACCT 161 will meet and work with the students who are enrolled in ACCT 160. ACCT 161 students will be required to complete the IRS BASIC and ADVANCED exams and are expected to complete more difficult income tax returns, assist first time VITA students, review tax returns and assist in the management of the course.
The course (ACCT 160 and 161) size is limited to 40 students. If the course is full and you would still like to enroll, contact the instructor. Students who are on the wait list and pass the IRS exam will be given enrollment priority if other students drop prior to the completion of the orientation.
Students who enroll must complete two classroom sessions (8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, January 13, 2018 and Saturday, January 20, 2018) which include training in tax software. In addition, enrollees must commit to working 30 hours during the tax season. The 30 hours are completed in 5, 6-hour blocks on the Saturdays that we are open during the tax season. Those days are shown on the "When and Where" tab to the left. If a student has a conflict with one of the scheduled Saturdays, the instructor will consider a make-up.
Once you have enrolled in the course and before December 10, 2017 contact the instructor for the materials to help you study for the exam.