Free Tax Help for Military

Mar 14, 2014 by

Uncle SamIf you’re a member of the U.S. military, there’s little reason for you or your family members to pay a firm like H&R Block to for help in getting done your tax return. Instead, check out the IRS’ free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

What’s VITA?

From the IRS’s website:

The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

Unmentioned here is that VITA’s service is also available to military members and their families. In addition to the locations mentioned, VITA offices are set up on or near many domestic military bases and overseas. Use this handy VITA office locator for find a service near you.

VITA volunteers who work on military bases receive special training on military tax issues such as combat zone tax benefits, extensions of time to file and pay and special rules for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

What to Bring to a VITA Office

Before you head over to the VITA office to get help with your tax return, gather the following to take along:

  • Valid photo identification
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Your wage and earning forms, such as Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R
  • Interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099)A copy of your last year’s federal and state tax returns, if available
  • Routing and account numbers for direct deposit of your tax refund
  • Total amount you paid for day care and the day care provider’s identifying number—usually an Employer Identification or Social Security number
  • Any other information about your income and expenses

Additional Tax Information for Military Members

Particularly if you’re tackling your taxes yourself, you may find these IRS resources helpful:

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