The Internal Revenue Service’s Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) office has stood up a special webpage called “Information for Veterans” for VA, Veterans service organizations and Veterans and their families. The page highlights programs offering tax preparation and counseling services, in addition to information about VA disability benefits, homeless Veterans, Veteran legal services, programs for hiring Veterans and much more.
IRS and SPEC are committed to assisting Veterans and their families through this webpage, which will be updated frequently to include the latest news and information about VA/IRS partnership and any new tax information for Veterans as well as VA programs.
SPEC and the VA have been formally collaborating since April 2015, delivering outreach messages to millions of Veterans. In addition to free tax preparation, SPEC wants to assist Veterans with additional tools such as financial education and asset building programs through its thousands of partners located in almost every local community throughout the country.
SPEC is the education and outreach department of the IRS serving low to moderate-income taxpayers, Veterans, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency, and Native Americans. SPEC is widely known for oversight of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, which offer free tax return preparation and outreach to these taxpayers. In 2016, over 90,000 IRS certified volunteers in approximately 12,000 locations provided nearly 3.8 million free tax returns including over 435,000 free tax returns for Veterans.
Richard Keeling began his career with the Internal Revenue Service in 1982 and worked several years in the compliance division of the IRS as an auditor, instructor and manager. In 2001, Richard was selected to his current position as a Senior Tax Analyst in Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) of the Wage & Investment Division. His primary responsibility is overseeing the Veterans and Disabilities programs. These programs provide widespread access to tax information and free tax preparation services as well as asset building strategies to improve their economic well-being. In addition, Richard is involved with the IRS’ Hiring Initiative to recruit, employ and retain Veterans with disabilities and other people with disabilities.