Volunteer helps service member with taxes
Home Financial & Legal Tax Resource Center Preparing, Filing and Refunds

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Military members, including retirees, are eligible to receive free tax consultation and preparation through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance locations.

Take command of your taxes. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA program, provided through the Armed Forces Tax Council, provides coordinators for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. These specialists are trained to address military-specific tax issues like combat-zone benefits and applying Earned Income Credit guidelines. These coordinators oversee the operation of military tax programs worldwide and serve as the main Internal Revenue Service outreach for military personnel and their families.

Military OneSource MilTax provides help finding VITA program locations where participants can self-file, sit down with a trained tax professional and have their taxes completed, or drop off their tax forms and return at a designated time to complete the filing. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices and Military OneSource offer free electronic filing to eligible service and family members. The MilTax preparation and e-filing software walks you through a series of questions to help you complete your tax return. This self-paced tax e-filing software allows you to complete and electronically file your federal and up to three state tax forms, access free technical assistance, and receive 100 percent accurate calculations guaranteed by the software provider.

Military members, including retirees, are eligible to receive free tax consultation and preparation through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance locations. Eligibility for MilTax services includes veterans up to 365 days after separation.

Before you visit

As tax day approaches, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance team is on your side. You can obtain tax advice, tax preparation, return filing and other tax services for free.

Find the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program site nearest you.

To have your tax returns prepared, bring the following items to an assistance site:

  • Valid 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
  • Wage and earning statements (W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R forms) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (1099 forms)
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit of your refund
  • Statements related to mortgages and homestead expenses (or rental property expenses to include insurance and property management)
  • Work-related materials and expenses that have not been reimbursed by your employer (to include mileage information and vehicle maintenance)
  • Documentation of donations and charitable expenses
  • Other relevant data about income and expenses (information about move-related expenses that were not reimbursed, home remodeling expenses, total amount paid for day care (with your day care provider's identifying number, tax ID or Social Security number), and utility costs that may be eligible for tax credits)
  • Last year's federal and state returns, if available (not necessary, but extremely helpful)

Having these documents available will make this process easier and possibly increase the size of your tax return. Don't forget that when filing taxes electronically on a married/joint return, both spouses must be present to sign and have appropriate identification.