‘Tis the Season: 2017 Tax Assistance Program

Tax season is here. Did you know that the Navy provides a program to help Sailors and their families file their taxes?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program assists eligible persons with preparation and filing of state and federal income taxes at no cost.  The self‐service program is centered on tax assistance centers equipped with computer stations where customers prepare their own tax returns with the assistance of a core group of IRS-trained volunteers.  Active-duty military and their dependents qualify for VITA service, but retirees, retiree dependents, and former spouses with an adjusted gross income over $62,000 will not be eligible for assistance at the self-service tax centers.

Navy Region Northwest is offering four self-service tax centers that will operate on a walk-in basis.  Sites are open Feb. 1st through Apr. 18 at the following locations, with the following operating hours:

  • Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Location: Bangor Plaza Building between the Inside Out Café and the Khaki Club. Hours: 1030 – 1500, Monday – Friday (closed federal holidays). Phone: (360) 340-5224.
  • Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton. Location: Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC), Building 1013. Hours: 1000 – 1500, Tuesdays and Thursdays on the following dates: January 31; February 2, 7, 9, 13, 17, 28; March 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30; and April 4, 6, 11, 13, 18. Phone: (360) 340-5327.
  • Naval Station Everett: Location: The Commons, Building 1950, 2nd Deck. Hours: 1030 – 1530, Tuesdays and Thursdays (closed on federal holidays). Phone: (425) 304-4551.
  • Naval Air Station Whidbey Island: Location: Liberty NW Center, 1040 Intruder St., Building 382. Hours: 0800 – 1600, Monday – Friday (closed on federal holidays). Phone: (360) 257-3309.

Those seeking tax assistance are encouraged to call their preferred site with questions regarding hours or eligibility requirements.

Individuals seeking assistance should bring the following information to the tax center: all W-2s, social security card(s)/number(s) (or other equivalent identification) for spouses and all dependent family members, Form 1099(s), bank statements, proof of child care expenses, daycare provider information, Form 1098(s), divorce decree(s) or dependent exemption certificate(s), IRA information, stock information, last year’s federal and state tax returns, direct deposit information (account and routing number), and any other tax related forms that might be in question.

If you are married, wanting to file a joint tax return, and your spouse does not accompany you to the tax center, you must provide a special power of attorney (available at a Region Legal Service Office Legal Assistance Department), or an IRS power of attorney, Form 2848 (found at http://www.irs.gov).  Either power of attorney requires a signature from the absent spouse; the special power of attorney must also be notarized.  These can be done at the Region’s Legal Assistance offices.

The deadline to file is Tuesday, Apr.  18th.  The deadline for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing claims for refunds, and taking other actions with the IRS is automatically extended if either of the following statements is true: (1) you serve in the Armed Forces in a combat zone or you have qualifying service outside of a combat zone, or (2) you serve in the Armed Forces on deployment outside the United States away from your permanent duty station while participating in a contingency operation.

Your deadline for taking actions with the IRS is extended 180 days after the later of: (1) The last day you are in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside of the combat zone, or serve in a contingency operation, or (2) the last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone or contingency operation or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone.  In addition to the 180 days, your deadline is extended by the number of days that were left for you to take action with the IRS when you entered a combat zone.

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