Posted by : Daniel Stoica in (Blog, Federal Income Tax, Federal Taxes, Income Tax Preparation, Income Taxes, Tax Filing, Tax Help, Tax Preparation, Tax Tips) On: February 29th, 2012
Did you know that free tax return preparation assistance is available for eligible military members and their spouses? The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free tax advice as well as tax preparation, filing and other tax assistance to military members and their families.
Here is some helpful information for military members to keep in mind during tax season:
Volunteers at military-based VITA sites are trained to help with military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits and the Earned Income Tax Credit guidelines.
Bring the following records:
To receive free tax assistance, you should bring the following records to your military VITA site:
- Valid photo identification
- 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
- Wage and earning statement(s) like 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
- Checkbook for routing and account numbers for direct deposit
- Total amount paid for day care and day care provider’s identifying number
- Other relevant information about income and expenses
Dealing with joint returns:
If your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and you want 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.
There is a special exception to using a power of attorney for spouses in combat zones. The exception allows the filing spouse to e-file a joint return with only a written statement stating the other spouse is in a combat zone and unable to sign.
For more information, review IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, available on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov or order a free copy by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).