ACCT 113: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance I

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 1
Total Contact Hours: 18
Lecture Hours : 18
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 36
Transferable to CSU: No
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Pass/No Pass

Catalog Course Description

This course is for students interested in obtaining the required certification to participate in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The course covers income tax education and tax preparation software training in order to complete the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) certification exams for preparation of tax returns in a local VITA program. 18 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Examine major components of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance return preparation process.
  • Prepare an Intake/Interview & Quality Review Sheet.
  • Apply the rules for determining filing requirements.
  • Apply the rules to determine the filing status.
  • Apply the rules to personal and dependency exemptions.
  • Determine the tax treatment of various sources of income.
  • Determine the taxable portion of social security benefit and other income.
  • Calculate and accurately report the adjustments to income.
  • Determine when to use the standard deduction or itemized deductions.
  • Compute taxable income and taxes.
  • Determine eligibility for tax credits and calculate tax credits.
  • Identify and report the different types of other taxes on a return.
  • Identify and report different type of tax payments and credits.
  • Determine the amount of tax overpaid or underpaid.
  • Assemble a taxpayer’s copy of the tax return.
  • Determine when it is appropriate to file an amended return and prior year return.
  • Report health savings account contributions and distributions.
  • Describe the volunteer standards of conduct.

Major Course Content

  1. The various courses levels and certification process 
  2. The responsibilities of a VITA/TCE volunteer, including due diligence 
  3. The critical components involved in the return preparation process 
  4. The resources available to assist you 
  5. The procedures for helping a taxpayer with identity theft 
  6. Changes and updates
  7. Volunteer Standards of Conduct
  8. Ethics, Screening, Interviewing and Taxpayer Management
  9. IRS Tax Software Introduction
  10. Filing requirements
  11. Filing status
  12. Personal and dependency exemptions
  13. Tax treatment of income items 
  14. Social security
  15. Other income 
  16. Adjustments to income
  17. Standard deduction and tax computation
  18. Education tax credits
  19. Child tax credits
  20. Tax payments
  21. Earned income credit
  22. Tax refunds and tax owed

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

The assigned IRS Publications and various written handouts given out during the course of the semester.
IRS Link and Learn Taxes e-learning
IRS Publication 17 Federal Income Tax for Individuals

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Written Assignment 1:
Martha, age 45, is single and supports her dependent parents, who live with her. Martha also supports her grandfather, who lives in a nursing home.
1. Prepare a memorandum explaining the tax rules used to determine Martha's filing.
2. Determine what additional information you would need from Martha to help you determine her filing status.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Compute taxable income for each of the following independent situations.
a. Drew and Meg, ages 40 and 41 respectively, are married and file a joint return. In addition to four dependent children, they have AGI of $65,000 and itemized deductions of $15,000.
b. Scott, age 49, is a surviving spouse. His household includes two unmarried stepsons who qualify as his dependents. He has AGI of $75,000 and itemized deductions of $10,100.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture