2017 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF) PROGRAM:
R 131653Z DEC 16 ZYB
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
MSGID/NAVADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/DNS/DEC//
SUBJ/2017 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF)
REF/A/MSG/CNO/172000Z NOV 15//
AMPN/REF A IS NAVADMIN 268/15//
POC/MARIN/LT/OJAG 16/JAG/TEL: (202) 685-4637/DSN: 325-4637//
RMKS/1. This NAVADMIN provides notice and information regarding the 2017
VITA/ELF Program. This message supersedes Reference a.
2. The VITA/ELF Program is managed by Naval Legal Service Command to provide
free electronic tax filing services for Sailors, Dependents, and Retirees
with a focus on assisting Service members E6 and below. Last year, fleet
volunteers helped thousands of Service members and Dependents avoid paying
tax preparation fees. In fact, in tax year 2015, volunteers with the program
saved Service members and Dependents an estimated $500,000 in tax preparation
fees and provided over 14 million dollars in expedited tax refunds.
3. This program reduces the effort and cost involved in preparing and filing
federal and state tax returns.
a. Volunteers assist Sailors and Dependents at no cost.
b. Refunds are deposited an average of two weeks from the date of filing,
reducing the lure of commercial refund anticipation loans which have high
interest rates and fees.
4. Self-service tax preparation, using free tax filing software, is available
to all Sailors, Dependents, and qualifying Retirees to file their tax returns
at CONUS and OCONUS tax centers. Tax centers are staffed by IRS trained and
certified volunteers to assist with tax filing.
5. Commands must ensure Sailors are aware of their personal responsibility to
file tax returns and that free Navy services are available to them.
6. Tax assistance centers depend on local commands for personnel, equipment,
and facilities. This program merits serious consideration in every command's
allocation of manpower and resources and is a particularly good use of
talented Limited Duty Sailors.
a. Commands are encouraged to identify those who are willing to work as
full or part-time volunteers at tax centers.
b. Volunteers require training in advance of assignment to a tax center.
Volunteers will be advised of training sessions by tax center managers prior
to execution of duties. Commands that can provide Sailors as VITA/ELF
volunteers should contact their local Region Legal Service Office as soon as
possible. Region Legal Service Office contact information can be accessed at
the following web address:
c. Commands interested in setting up their own program should contact
LT Alexandra Marin at the office of the Judge Advocate General (Code 16) at
(202) 685-4637 DSN: 325-4637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Released by Vice Admiral J. G. Foggo, Director, Navy Staff.//