Tax Help for Military Families

One tax benefit to being a member of the U.S. Armed Forces is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that is sponsored by the IRS.  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA provides tax advice, tax preparation, tax return filing and other tax help to military families for FREE.

There are numerous VITA sites worldwide, each staffed with IRS-trained volunteers to provide a free tax consultant service.  They are well-versed on many of the military tax issues such as combat zone tax benefits, extensions and Earned Income Tax Credit special benefits.   There is also the Armed Forces Tax Council (partnered with the IRS)  that oversees the military tax programs and conducts outreach to military personnel and their families.  Dependents and members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard qualify for this help.

If you are filing a joint return electronically, both you and your spouse need to present to sign the required forms.  If either of you cannot be present, be sure to bring a valid power of attorney.  The only exceptions are if you or your spouse is in a combat zone.  There will be a written statement available to state that they are unable to sign.

For more information about this subject, look up “IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide” which has much more helpful tax information for members of the military.

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