Members of the Armed Forces and families can get free tax help
The IRS provides free tax assistance to military members (in English) and their families through the volunteer program Taxpayers (VITA acronym). In the military or off base, VITA is easy to find, even abroad.
The Tax Council of the Armed Forces directs the military tax programs offered worldwide. VITA employees are trained inmilitary tax issues (in English), such as tax benefits for service in a combat zone. They can help with special extensions (in English) to file tax returns and pay taxes with special rules that apply to Income Tax Credit (EITC, for its acronym in English).
Members of the armed forces must bring the following files to a VITA site for military:
- A valid power of attorney, if necessary. Generally, both taxpayers filing a joint return must sign. If both can not be present to sign the declaration, they must bring a valid power of attorney, unless they qualify for an exception.
- Valid military ID card.
- Social Security numbers taxpayer, spouse and dependents, or taxpayer identification numbers for adoption (ATIN), for those who do not have social security numbers.
- Dates of birth of taxpayer, spouse and dependents.
- Forms of salary and wages, such as W-2, W-2G and 1099-R.
- Interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099).
- Forms of medical care. Taxpayers who enrolled in coverage through the insurance market must bring Form 1095-A. Forms 1095-B and C for other types of insurance are optional, but this year taxpayers should know their dates of coverage for all family members.
- Form 1098-T for students with higher education expenses or income subsidy.
- A copy of the declaration of federal and state tax last year, if available.
- Account numbers and routing for direct deposit of tax refunds.
- Total amount paid to care centers and identification number of the care provider. This is usually an Employer Identification Number or Social Security number.
- Other relevant information about income and expenses.
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