Foreign Student VITA Training

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Arkansas Asset Builders’ Foreign Student VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. Arkansas Asset Builders partners with UCA’s Office of International Engagement to provide tax filing assistance for international students and scholars. This page details the training resources available and certification requirements necessary prior to assisting students at our UCA tax workshops or Faulkner County Library tax site.

Overview

Volunteers in the Foreign Student VITA program must complete three certification exams prior to serving with our program:

  • Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSOC)
  • Intake/Interview and Quality Review
  • Foreign Student Tax Preparation

There is no time limit for these exams and they are open book. Please make use of all resources available to you to answer the questions correctly. You must pass each exam with a score of 80% or higher within two attempts.

Volunteer Training Resources

Volunteers serving in this program will be trained how to:

  • Distinguish between resident and nonresident aliens
  • Determine whether a nonresident alien is required to file
  • Determine the correct forms to file
  • Determine whether a tax treaty applies and determine which income is taxable and which is excludable
  • Correctly complete Form 8843 and Forms 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ 

Arkansas Asset Builders offers an in-class training session to prepare volunteers to complete the required Foreign Student VITA certification. The presentation slides from this session are available here.

If you were not able to attend the training session or want more detailed information on any of the topics covered, we highly recommend that you review the Foreign Student Course on IRS Link & Learn.

Additional tax reference materials include:

Helpful video-based training for the VSOC and Intake/Interview & Quality Review exams is available from our partner Prosperity Now. Note that some details may be different for the Foreign Student program, but the general principals are the same for all VITA programs. For example, nonresident students use a different intake form than U.S. resident taxpayers (Form 13614NR vs Form 13614-C). However, the requirement to always use the correct intake form and to fill it out completely prior to starting tax preparation does not change.

Taking the Tests

You can pre-view the test questions for all three exams in Form 6744, but you must complete your certification exams online through the IRS Link & Learn website. You must create a username and password to access the certification tests. The Foreign Student test is located on the far right column of the testing dashboard. You may need to extend your screen to view the correct certification path (see screenshot below).

Make sure that you allow sufficient time to complete the required exams. It may take you 3-6 hours to complete the training and exams, depending on your familiarity with the material. All exams must be completed with a passing score before you can sign up for volunteer shifts. Approximate time requirements for each exam are as follows:

  • Volunteer Standards of Conduct (VSOC) – 10 questions; 20 minutes
  • Intake/Interview and Quality Review – 10 questions; 20 minutes
  • Foreign Student – 50 questions, including preparing sample 1040NR-EZ tax returns; 2-3 hours

Signing up for shifts

Int’l student tax assistance will happen on the UCA campus on Monday evenings and Thursday afternoons, March 16-April 23. Some students needing extra assistance may also come to our tax site at the Faulkner County Library on Wednesdays or Saturdays until April 15. Specific times and locations are as follows:

  • UCA College of Business, Room 209: Mondays 6-9pm; Thursdays 12:15-2:30pm
  • Faulkner County Library, Meeting Room 2: Wednesdays 1-4pm, Saturdays 9am-12pm

Volunteers will sign up for shifts on GivePulse or by emailing volunteer@arkansasassetbuilders.org. If you need to customize your schedule beyond the offered shifts, please email us.

Thank you for your service to international students and scholars in our community!