IRS Announces Military Personnel Can Receive Free Tax Help

Military-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program sites provide free tax preparation, tax advice, return filing and other tax assistance to military members and their families. The volunteers are trained to address specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits.

If you, or your spouse, are a member of the military, you may be eligible to receive free assistance with the preparation and filing of your federal tax return. The U.S. Armed Forces participate in VITA.

The Armed Forces Tax Council oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide, and serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families. The AFTC consists of tax program coordinators for the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard.

Military commanders support the program by detailing members of the military to prepare returns and by providing space and equipment for tax centers. The IRS supports these efforts by providing tax software and training.

To receive this free assistance, you should bring the following records to your military VITA site:

Current year’s tax package, if you received one

Wage and earning statement(s) — Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R

Interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099)

A copy of last year’s federal and state tax returns, if available

Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a social security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration

Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents

Valid photo identification

Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit

Total amount paid for day care

Day care provider’s identifying number

Other relevant information about income and expenses

If your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and you wish to file your tax return electronically, both you and your spouse should be present to sign the required forms. If it isn’t possible for both of you to be present, a valid power of attorney that allows tax preparation can be used to sign and file the return.

For more information, review IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide.