Volunteer with our Tax Benefits Program

Join our volunteer team and be the change you wish to see, from home! 

We aren’t accepting new volunteers for this program at the moment. Please check back in early October for further updates.

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Code for America’s Tax Benefits volunteers serve as the catalyst to connect taxpayers with low or no income to important tax benefits that can be a tremendous boost to their financial situation.

Our easy-to-use virtual platform, GetYourRefund, provides an accessible option for many taxpayers to get connected to free tax preparation services and access to cash benefits. In 2021 and 2022, our efiling tool, GetCTC, allowed filers with low or no income to submit their own simplified tax returns directly to the IRS to receive the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the third stimulus payment. In 2023, our volunteers will assist filers in using GetYourRefund and assist in the exploration of innovative ways to connect underserved populations to important unclaimed tax credits.

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Code for America’s Tax Benefits program was established in 2020 with the goal to close the tax benefits participation gap by identifying the most equitable and easy ways for people with low or no income to access the refundable tax benefits for which they are eligible.

Our goal was to reach people who are traditional nonfilers or people who do not have a filing requirement but are otherwise eligible for tax benefits. Since there was very little data available about how best to reach this demographic, we knew we needed to be creative and build accessible tools that people could utilize on their own.

After the 2020 pilot season and the sudden onset of the pandemic, we partnered with over 50 VITA organizations, part of the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that provides free tax preparation services for millions of taxpayers all over the country. We built an online platform, GetYourRefund, for these organizations to provide virtual tax prep services to the clients they were unable to serve in person due to the pandemic. Additionally, offering a virtual option enabled them to also expand their services to individuals unable to travel to their tax sites, including filers in other states. While VITA does a phenomenal job serving their clients, we observed that their operations were limited by specific identity and documentation requirements imposed upon them by the IRS. Specifically, strict ID requirements precluded many individuals with low or no income from using the service, and the reliance on taxpayer-provided tax documentation proved to be another barrier many filers could not overcome.

In addition to GetYourRefund, we determined other services and products would need to be developed to successfully reach and serve filers with low or no income who were otherwise excluded from using VITA. In 2021, we launched GetCTC, a do-it-yourself simplified filing tool that enabled nonfilers to file a return directly with the IRS to claim the newly expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. By the end of 2022, GetCTC generated an estimated $650,000,000 in refunds to individuals who would have otherwise missed out on these poverty-reducing credits.

Yet, even with the success of GetCTC, data showed that barriers still persisted for many around ID verification and tax documentation requirements. In 2023, we’ll be trying new methods of service delivery, such as:

  • rethinking ways to do ID verification
  • trying new approaches to documentation and information collection for tax preparation
  • exploring innovative ways to provide support for taxpayers using existing do-it-yourself products

Current Products


Online platform to communicate with taxpayers about the tax preparation process, help them gather their documents, and assign them to a local VITA organization for tax preparation.

Mini Pilot Projects

In 2023, we’ll be exploring ways to test what an expedited federal filing system could look like, examining different ways to verify taxpayer identity, building best practices for customer support for existing do-it-yourself tax preparation programs and using prior year tax data to build current year returns.


Tax Benefits Screener Volunteer: GetYourRefund

Tax Benefits Screener volunteers help clients complete the GetYourRefund application process, ensure clients have all necessary information and documentation, and help answer basic questions. This role does not require IRS tax certification.
To read the full job description, click here.

Mini Pilots

Data Entry & Analyst volunteers assist in testing different methodologies around collecting taxpayer information, identifying potential barriers to developing an expedited filing system, and exploring best practices for supporting taxpayers using do-it-yourself tax filing programs.
To read the full job description, click here.

Tax Preparer volunteers prepare tax returns for eligible taxpayers within the scope of the mini pilot. Returns will be prepared in tax preparation software using information and documentation provided by the taxpayer. Volunteers are required to get IRS certified at the Advanced level.
To read the full job description, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the desired skillset for these roles?

Even though the services being offered are tax-related, no previous tax knowledge or tax preparation experience is required to volunteer. Our training will give you all the info you need to succeed in whichever role you choose. Much of the work is focused primarily on customer service. We will provide training for any relevant tax law needed to perform in your role.  

What is the minimum number of hours a volunteer must serve?

With customer service at the heart of our work, our volunteers are asked to serve at least four to six hours per week to ensure they are able to respond in a timely manner to the client they’re serving.

What is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA)?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program that came out of the IRS over 50 years ago and was designed to help taxpayers with low income file their tax returns for free. The program has been wildly successful and nonprofits all over the country offer VITA services as a means to fight poverty and promote financial stability. Since 2021, many VITA organizations across the country have begun to use GetYourRefund to serve clients virtually.

I’ve volunteered in-person with VITA before. How is GetYourRefund similar?

GetYourRefund is an online platform that VITA organizations use to offer their tax preparation services virtually. It is essentially an online file management system where clients provide their tax information and documents and can receive communication back from a volunteer. Our Tax Benefits Screener role is similar to the Greeter role at a VITA in-person site, where they make sure the taxpayer has all their information and documentation in order. You’ll do the same prior to assigning them to a VITA organization for tax preparation.

I have experience doing Customer Service work. How will volunteering with GetYourRefund call upon these skills?

Clients using GetYourRefund often require assistance to complete the onboarding process. Our Tax Benefits Screeners provide each client with the necessary guidance to collect all the information and documentation they will need for tax preparation. Since many clients have been victims of identity theft or are in precarious tax filing situations, volunteers will be most successful in their role if they are able to exercise both a professional and empathic approach to each client.

Does it matter where I live or what timezone I’m in?

No. Code for America is a remote-first organization with staff and volunteers located all over the country. We offer shifts that accommodate all timezones and are also available on weekends.