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The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program


The military-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) provides free tax advice and preparation, return filing, and other tax assistance to military members and their families. The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC), consisting of tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, oversees the operation of military tax programs worldwide and serves as the main Internal Revenue Service outreach conduit to military personnel and families. Airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, and guardsmen and their families worldwide get tax preparation help at offices on their installations. VITA tax specialists are trained and equipped to address such military-specific tax issues as combat-zone tax benefits and the effect of the new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) guidelines.

Taxpayers should bring these items to VITA sites to have their tax returns prepared:

  • Photo identification
  • Social Security cards for the taxpayer, his or her spouse, and dependents, if applicable
  • Birth dates for primary and secondary earners and dependents on the tax return
  • Current year's tax package, if they received one
  • Wage and earning statements (W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R forms) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (1099 forms)
  • A copy of last year's federal and state returns if available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses (total amount paid for day care, day care provider identifying number [tax ID or Social Security number]

To file taxes electronically on a married filing jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

Visit the Legal Assistance Office at a military installation for more information about VITA. To locate the closest military installation, use the Armed Forces Legal Assistance Legal Services Locator.

Based on information from the Internal Revenue Service.


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