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IRS Tax Tip 2017-35: Free Tax Help Available for the Military

March 30, 2017

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides free tax help to military members and their families. On or off base, VITA is easy to find — even overseas.   Keep these five tips in mind about free tax help for the military:

1. Armed Forces Tax Council. The Armed Forces Tax Council directs the military tax programs offered worldwide.

2. Certified Staff. Military VITA-certified employees staff these sites. They receive training on military tax issues, like tax benefits for service in a combat zone. They can help with special extensions of time to file tax returns and to pay taxes or with special rules that apply to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

3. What to Bring. Take the following records to a military VITA site:

  • Valid photo identification.
  • Social Security numbers for the taxpayer, their spouse and dependents; or individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) or adoption taxpayer identification numbers (ATINs) for those who don’t have Social Security numbers.
  • Birth dates for the taxpayer, their spouse and dependents.
  • Wage and earning forms, such as Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R.
  • Interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099).
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state tax returns, if available
  • Routing and account numbers for direct deposit of a tax refund.
  • Total amount paid for day care and the day care provider’s identifying number. This is usually an Employer Identification Number or Social Security number.
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses.

4. Joint Returns. If married filing a joint return, generally both persons need to sign. If both can’t be present to sign the return, they should bring a valid power of attorney form unless eligible for an exception. Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, has more details.

5. Use IRS Free File. Taxpayers with income of $64,000 or less qualify for Free File software. Those with income more than $64,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms. Using the IRS2Go app, a taxpayer can now use their cell phone or tablet to prepare and e-file their federal tax return through IRS Free File.

Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS YouTube Videos:

Share this tip on social media — Free Tax Help Available for the Military.  https://go.usa.gov/xXK3y#IRS

 

These are the Sacramento locations for the VITA sites.

South Natomas Community Center
2921 Truxel Road
Dates of Service: February 7 – April 5 2017
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
By appointment. Please call 2-1-1 or (916) 498-1000.  Electronic Filing Available.

 

Pannell/Meadowview Community Center
2450 Meadowview Road
Dates of Service: February 9 – April 7, 2017
Thursdays and  Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
By appointment. Please call 2-1-1 or (916) 498-1000 .
Electronic filing available.

 

Oak Park Community Center (e-bus) – New – Drop-in Service Available
3425 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Dates of Service:  February 14 & 15, 2017
Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
By appointment or drop-in.  Please call 2-1-1 or (916) 498-1000 for appointment.
Electronic filing available.

 

The Hart Senior Center serves as a VITA site as well as a Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site.

Hart Senior Center
915 27th Street
By appointment only. Call: (916) 808-5462
Electronic filing available.
VITA and TCE services available