How Improved Training Strategies can Benefit Taxpayers Using VITA Programs
Many volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites experience inaccuracy in the taxes prepared according to audits conducted by the treasury inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA). Effective training strategies may influence the accuracy rates of tax returns prepared at VITA sites. Following the conceptual framework of the human capital theory, this multiple case study described the training strategies used by 4 VITA site coordinators in northwest Indiana. Emergent themes included multiple training strategies, mostly dependent on the size of the VITA site; quality reviews and their critical role in ensuring the accuracy of taxes prepared at VITA sites; and annual certification requirements to help verify volunteers’ understanding of tax law. Positive social change might occur when qualifying taxpayers gain access to the tax knowledge and expertise of volunteer tax preparers, resulting in more confidence in their tax situations. Under-served individuals should receive the tax credits and deductions to which they are entitled through accurate tax preparation.