Yep, you heard that right!
At this very moment there are uniformed warrior-gods not only ready to engage the enemy, but prepare your taxes (which can be quite the battle too).
Many U.S. military installations across our great nation and around the world are collaborating with the IRS to offer free, in-person tax preparation services for active duty members, retirees and dependents. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA, our active duty and their families have one less thing to worry about in a lifestyle that can often times be filled with uncertainty.
According to Army Lt. Col. David Dulaney, the Executive Director of the Armed Forces Tax Council, “Taxes for military members are complicated, noting frequent moves, deployments and the fact that tax laws change every year. The VITA preparers receive extensive training through the Defense Department and the IRS on the situations faced in the military community, such as combat zone tax benefits, extensions to file and pay, and special rules for the earned income tax credit.”
Have I had my taxes prepared by VITA? You bet your sweet return I have! (Full disclosure: a few years back I went to the dark side and had my taxes prepared by a national chain. In fact, I paid the fees to have 4 years of VITA returns checked. Not a single mistake was found. Very impressive to say the least.)
Gather your tax information for the past year (and an up-to-date power of attorney if your spouse is deployed) and head on over to your local VITA offices. Make sure to bring along your bank information that include routing numbers, as well as original social security cards of all dependent family members.
You will find professional, uniformed personnel under the guidance of an expert overseer that are able to file both federal and state returns. The entire process is free, all you have to do is make that appointment!
The deadline to file this year is April 17 with military members serving outside the United States receiving an automatic two-month extension.
VITA is a wonderful way our country gives back to our service members and their families who sacrifice so much.
So get going!