Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Provide free tax preparation

Help eligible taxpayers claim the refunds they deserve.

Female filing paperwork with a calculator

In New York, tax prep fees can cost an average of $150 to $250. For someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, every refund matters. Volunteers help make sure every dollar counts.

Get Involved 

Sign up for our Volunteer or Team Leader General Interest Campaigns for updates on shift sign up, training and certification, and all things tax prep! If you have any questions, please reach out to   

More information will become available in mid to late November, once the current year’s exam is available. 


What to Expect

Want to join in but not a tax expert? We’ve got you covered! Through our comprehensive training, you’ll be set up for success to get certified and help New Yorkers to file. Many volunteers new to tax preparation have succeeded in getting hard earned money back into the hands of their neighbors by joining our programs. 

1. Take online training

New to the program? You’ll need to complete an  on-demand info session to learn more about the program and how to participate. Updated training to be linked here in November. 


2. Review Training Resources

New York Cares provides on-demand resources that are designed to help you prepare for the exam. Please note that materials will be updated as they become available in November.


3. Complete and Submit IRS Certification

Once ready, take your certification exam (see our instruction guide). You must answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass. You will have two chances to pass the exam. 

Important: when you successfully complete the exam, you will need to send your certifications to New York Cares. You will be required to present these  documents again on your tax sites. 

  • 2023 Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam Certificate
  • 2023 Intake/Interview and Quality Review Exam Certificate
  • 2023 Basic Exam OR 2023 Advanced Exam Certificate
  • IRS Volunteer Agreement Form


4. Complete a Background Check

Due to the nature of the program and clients you’ll be working with, you are required to complete a background check. We’ll send you a link to complete your background check, which will take up to a week to approve once you submit your information.


5. Sign Up for a Tax Prep Shift

We’ll send you a unique project code to view all available programs in need of your support, running across the city on different days of the week and times depending on the Community Partner’s needs. Virtual programs may be limited or unavailable depending on Partner request.

Need help preparing your taxes? Learn more about eligibility and resources.