Department of the Treasury - Internal Revenue Service
Standards of Conduct Agreement –
The mission of the VITA/TCE return preparation programs is to assist eligible taxpayers in satisfying their tax
responsibilities by providing free tax return preparation. To establish the greatest degree of public trust, volunteers are
required to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and provide quality service.
Instructions: All VITA/TCE volunteers (whether paid or unpaid workers) must pass the Volunteer Standards of Conduct
Test, and sign and date Form 13615, Volunteer Standards of Conduct Agreement, prior to working at a VITA/TCE site. In
addition, return preparers, quality reviewers, site coordinators, and VITA/TCE tax law instructors must certify in the
Intake/Interview & Quality Review and tax law prior to signing this form. This form is not valid until the site coordinator,
sponsoring partner, instructor, or IRS contact confirms the volunteer’s identity, with photo ID, and signs and dates the
Standards of Conduct: As a volunteer in the VITA/TCE Programs, you must:
1) Follow the Quality Site Requirements (QSR).
4) Not knowingly prepare false returns.
2) Not accept payment, solicit donations, or accept
5) Not engage in criminal, infamous, dishonest,
refund payments for federal or state tax return
notoriously disgraceful conduct, or any other conduct
deemed to have a negative effect on the VITA/TCE
3) Not solicit business from taxpayers you assist or
use the knowledge you gained (their information)
6) Treat all taxpayers in a professional, courteous, and
about them for any direct or indirect personal
benefit for you or any other specific individual.
Failure to comply with these standards could result in, but is not limited to, the following:
• Your removal from all VITA/TCE Programs;
• Inclusion in the IRS Volunteer Registry to bar future VITA/TCE activity indefinitely;
• Deactivation of your sponsoring partner’s site VITA/TCE EFIN (electronic filing ID number);
• Removal of all IRS products, supplies, loaned equipment, and taxpayer information from your site;
• Termination of your sponsoring organization’s partnership with the IRS;
• Termination of grant funds from the IRS to your sponsoring partner; and
• Referral of your conduct for potential TIGTA and criminal investigations.
Taxpayer Impact: Taxpayer trust in the IRS and the local sponsoring partner organization is jeopardized when ethical
standards are not followed. Fraudulent returns that report incorrect income, credits, or deductions can result in many
years of interaction with the IRS as the taxpayer tries to pay the additional tax plus interest and penalties. This can result
in an extreme burden for the taxpayer as the taxpayer tries to resolve the errors made on his or her return.
Volunteer Protection: The Volunteer Protection Act generally protects unpaid volunteers from liability for acts or
omissions that occur while acting within the scope of their responsibilities at the time of the act or omission. It provides no
protection for harm caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious,
flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed by the volunteer.
For additional information on the volunteer standards of conduct, please refer to Publication 1084, Site Coordinator
Privacy Act Notice – The Privacy Act of 1974 requires that when we ask for information we tell you our legal right to ask for the information, why we
are asking for it, and how it will be used. We must also tell you what could happen if we do not receive it, and whether your response is voluntary,
required to obtain a benefit, or mandatory.
Our legal right to ask for information is 5 U.S.C. 301. We are asking for this information to assist us in contacting you relative to your interest and/or
participation in the IRS volunteer income tax preparation and outreach programs. The information you provide may be furnished to others who
coordinate activities and staffing at volunteer return preparation sites or outreach activities. The information may also be used to establish effective
controls, send correspondence and recognize volunteers. Your response is voluntary. However, if you do not provide the requested information, the
IRS may not be able to use your assistance in these programs. Please note: Sponsoring organizations may perform background checks on their
Catalog Number 38847H