VA and the IRS have Tips for Tax Prep

Veterans salutes the American flag.

Every January, after we rang in the New Year, my father would start grumbling about taxes.  One year, in a paper induced rage, he turned to my five-year-old brother and curly haired, goofy faced me, aged eight, and exclaimed: “Kids!  You know the only two things you can depend on in life?!”

“Pizza!”  I responded.  “Captain Planet!” chimed my brother.

“NO!” my dad said.  “Dea—”

“PAUL!”  My mother intervened instantly.

My father, defeated by my mother’s attempt to keep talk of the grim reaper out of our dining room, exhaled slowly and tried again.  You can depend on birthdays and taxes once a year.

At the time, I didn’t get it.  However, as someone who recently jointly filed her income taxes for the first time with her new husband, I get it now:  Every year we can rely on getting another year older and paying Uncle Sam.  I also understand the fury caused by weirdly numbered and lettered forms, online filing fees, and standard versus itemized deductions.  So I was ecstatic to find that the folks at the IRIS have special programs for Veterans and military families to alleviate some of this annual frustration.

The IRS and the Armed Forces have teamed up to provide the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program  which provides free tax advice, tax preparation, return filing and other tax assistance.  Many of the military-based VITA sites provide assistance to Veterans as well as military families.  To find out of your local installation has the tax preparation service available for Veterans, call 1-800-906-9887.

As a Veteran, you may be eligible for free basic income tax preparation assistance at other local IRS sponsored community-based, volunteer tax return preparation sites.  To be eligible for free assistance through these programs you must meet certain age and income requirements.  More information on these programs can be found here.

Veterans  of all ages can prepare and e-file their federal tax returns for free through the IRS Free File Program available on IRS.gov.  Free File is offered through a public-private partnership between the IRS and brand-name tax software companies. Free File allows you to safely and securely download software for at home tax preparation and filing.  Free File software is for taxpayers who earn $58,000 or less.  If your 2010 adjusted gross income was over $58,000 you can use the Fillable Forms also located on the Free File website.

VA is always looking for ways to help Veterans, and we are thrilled to pass along this helpful tax information.  Have you heard of any other local tax preparation help for Veterans?  Will you be using these tips to help with your inevitable yearly task?

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16 Comments to “VA and the IRS have Tips for Tax Prep”

  1. Joe Average says:

    Think of it this way: You havent gotten paid from work for 2 years. Your gas and lights are shut off, and foreclosure is imminent, just like many Vets on the “million man waiting list” for benefits.

    The VA contacts you, to offer help in filing your taxes (never mind that you did not have any income for the past two years so you dont need to file taxes)

    What do you say?
    Here is what I say: (Yes, that happened to me..I lost my home while the VA was “processing” my benefit application)
    I say: Forget helping Vets with taxes. Just pay their benefits on time. Is this so hard for the VA to understand? Dont those people at the VA need to get paid so they can pay their bills also? The VA does not “get it”.

  2. David L. Hallman says:

    I did not get any paperwork this year stating how much the VA paid me. I need to file my taxes and cannot do it without the paperwork. Please call me to let me know what to do. You can also call me at 360-908-7120 but as I am rather hard of hearing, I would like you to give the needed information. She does the filing online and we would like some help as soon as possible. Thank you for your helpU5sH

    • Jon says:

      David, if you’re talking about diasbility compensation, then I believe this is tax-free income, and does not need to be reported. Check with your regional office or the IRS, and especially with your state. If it’s pension it’s a little different, but you could probably call the VA Pension Managment Center to get this info.

  3. David L. Hallman says:

    I did not get any paperwork this year stating how much the VA paid me. I need to file my taxes and cannot do it without the paperwork. Please call me to let me know what to do. You can also call me at 360-908-7120 but as I am rather hard of hearing, I would like you to give her the needed information. She does the filing online and we would like some help as soon as possible. Thank you for your help.

  4. Shaun C says:

    I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs and I received a form 5632 but when I went to do my taxes, it did not give me the option to submit the information on the form I received. It is different from a W2 form. How do I go about entering the information to file my taxes or is there a specific form to I should be filling out?

  5. john vandermark says:

    I am a disabled war vet at 70% and and get social security. it is my only income my wife is a house wife and does not work do i still hace to file taxes to the state and fed

  6. Tim Anderson says:

    DON’ DELETE THIS! Your site has a lot of great stuff. I hate to even mention IRS, but if you have tax problems there are only two guys that even count? Check them out. They will take care of you and your readers!

  7. Tim Anderson: who are the two guys that can assist me with IRS issues?

  8. RH says:

    How do I get proof of the amount of disability compensation I receive for tax purposes?

  9. james davis says:

    I separated from active duty last April, but in order to do my taxes I need the W-2′s for the four months that I was employed by the Navy. How do I go about getting this? Anyone who can help out with this will be greatly appreciated.

    • Lou says:

      James,

      You can still access MyPay to get your tax documents. I separated last January, and that is the way I pulled mine. Hope this helps.

      Lou

  10. charles reid says:

    My son is on disability from his time in Iraq and i’m his caregiver, great program, How does he get what the VA paid him last year so he can fill out his tax’s? He has not received anything.

  11. Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  12. George Baker says:

    I received 30% diability in September 2011 and they backdated the disability to December 2010. There was paperwork in the VA packet that indicated that I should present the form to my tax preparer and they would know what to do. I need to know what forms or process I need to follow to get this compensation for 2011 so that I can file my 2011 taxes.

  13. Mike M. says:

    I work in a small CPA firm and I agree that veterans deserve prompt, fair & friendly service from the IRS & government on their benefits and tax refunds. -Mike M. http://www.murraycavanaugh.com/blog.php

  14. The IRS is telling me I owe about $4500.00 due to wrongfully claiming my children. I have leagle full coustody, and they were living with me at the time. They now live with my ex-wife, and I believed she is the one who wrongfully claimed the children. Can or does anyone have an issue that is somewhat like mine?…..Thankyou
    FJCIV