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News | Feb. 5, 2019

VITA Connects Service Members to Tax Support

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs

The 2019 tax season is underway, and, once again, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is open to eligible Navy personnel, dependents, and retirees at select locations around the globe. VITA links active-duty and retired service members and their dependents, as well as deployed civilians, to free self-service tax software via Military OneSource.

“VITA is designed to accommodate the increasingly busy lives of Sailors and their families,” said Lt. John Schwietz, the Navy’s VITA program manager at the Office of the Judge Advocate General in Washington, D.C.

As the trend toward self-service tax preparation gains more momentum, VITA has evolved, and the Navy no longer requires Region Legal Service Offices (RLSOs) to stand up brick-and-mortar tax centers. Therefore, Schwietz advises those interested in filing their taxes in-person to first consult the below list of VITA tax centers, and also contact their local RLSO for more information about availability and hours of operation.

“While VITA tax centers are an excellent resource, many find it more convenient to simply access the very same tax filing software used at the tax centers and file on their own,” Schwietz said in reference to the software provided via Military OneSource. “Customers can securely file their taxes from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection,” he added.

Users in need of assistance also can call the Military OneSource helpline to reach tax counselors seven days a week. Customers eligible for VITA under 10 U.S.C. section 1044 should contact locate the nearest RLSO.

Have the following items on-hand when preparing taxes:
  • Valid identification for taxpayer/s - Social Security Numbers (including spouse and children)
  • Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number and address
  • Adjusted gross income from last year's tax return
  • IRS E-filing PIN (you can get one at
  •  Income data (W-2s)
  • All end-year tax documents (1099s)
  •  Student loan payment information
  • Receipts for child care payment
  • Receipts for educational expenses
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