Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
There are many programs meant to help military families. One such program that can help you with tax issues is the Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Find out more about this program by contacting our office.
Members of the military have a lot to deal with, and filing taxes can be difficult when you’re constantly on the move. Getting tax matters settled can be even more difficult for those who are stationed overseas or in the field. That’s why the Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was created.
This program helps military members and their families handle their tax issues. If you’re a member of the armed forces and you think you may be eligible for this free tax assistance program, reach out to our office to learn more.
About the Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
The Military VITA program was created to help military families deal with tax issues. Military members can find free professional tax help and e-filing both on and off base. Those members of the military who have been stationed overseas can also find help through the VITA program.
Here are a few things the IRS wants you to know about the VITA program:
The Armed Forces Tax Council
The Armed Forces Tax Council is an organization that has partnered with the IRS to provide tax services to military members and their families throughout the world. This includes all branches of the US Military, such as the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, and Marines.
The Volunteer Tax Locations
The locations where military members can find tax help are staffed by IRS-trained tax professionals who have special knowledge on tax matters pertaining to members of the military.
For instance, these tax professionals understand military tax issues like combat zone tax benefits, special rules for earned income tax credits, and filing extensions permitted to military members.
What to Bring
Here’s some information on what you should bring with you when you head to a VITA site for tax help:
- Current photo identification
- Social Security cards for you, your children, and your spouse
- Birth dates for you, your spouse, and your dependents
- Your wage and earning forms (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R)
- Interest and dividend statements (Form 1099)
- Copies of your last federal and state tax returns (if you have them)
- Bank account routing and account information for the purpose of the direct deposit of a tax refund
- Any child care information, such as the total cost of child care and the care provider’s EIN number
- Any other information relevant to filing your tax returns
Joint Tax Return Information for Military Members
If you and your spouse file a joint tax return, then in most cases, both spouses are still expected to sign the form. If, however, your spouse can’t be present, then you should have a valid power of attorney so you can sign on your spouse’s behalf.
There is one exception to this rule: if your spouse is in a combat zone. You will need to provide a signed document that states your spouse is currently in a combat zone and is therefore unable to sign the tax return.
IRS Free File for the Military
Additionally, if you’d like to file your tax return yourself, then as a member of the armed forces, you qualify for IRS Free File.
If you make less than $58,000 per year, then you qualify for IRS Free File software. If you make over $58,000, you qualify for IRS Free File fillable forms. The IRS offers more information here.
What If I’m Not a Member of the Military and I Need Tax Help?
If you aren’t a member of the military but you still need some tax assistance, don’t worry. Although you won’t qualify for the VITA program, the IRS offers many other tax-relief programs to help individuals get out of tax debt.
See below for a list of some other helpful options for getting tax returns filed or getting tax debt under control:
- Installment Agreements – Many taxpayers can’t pay back tax debt all in one large payment, so the IRS has offered monthly payment options called installment agreements. As long as you keep up with these monthly payments, the IRS will consider your account current and in good standing.
- Offer in Compromise – Sometimes, the IRS will agree to settle tax debt for less than your full tax liability owed. This can be a great help to individuals and small businesses, but it’s only available to those who qualify. Call our office to see if you qualify for this program.
- Currently Not Collectible – Not all taxpayers can afford to pay their taxes. If you really can’t pay, your lawyer may be able to show the IRS that at the present time, you are currently not collectible. This can get those IRS collection efforts to cease.
- Lien or Levy Releases – The IRS has the right to garnish your wages and levy your bank accounts; they can even seize your personal property, such as real estate and vehicles. Your tax attorney might be able to get the IRS to release a lien or levy by showing good cause.
- Back Tax Return Filing – Do you need help with a back tax return you haven’t yet filed? Our office can help with that, too. You can get your tax situation under control by working with an experienced tax lawyer from our office.
Military Tax Assistance from an Experienced Tax Attorney
The IRS understands the unique challenges presented to military members, and that’s why the Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was created. Through this program, military members now have the ability to access free professional tax help by heading over to VITA sites sta.
If you have further questions about the VITA program or any other IRS tax assistance program, contact the W Tax Group today. Our office offers a free tax debt analysis to those who call us directly at 1-877-500-4930 or complete and send in the online contact form below.