2008 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) ELECTRONIC TAX/FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE

UNCLASSIFIED//
R 302325Z OCT 07
PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N09//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N09//
UNCLAS
NAVADMIN 288/07
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N09/OCT//
SUBJ/2008 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) ELECTRONIC TAX/FILING 
(ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE// REF/A/MSG/CNO/011809Z NOV 06// 
AMPN/REF A IS NAVADMIN 303/06// POC/HAYCOCK/CDR/OJAG 16/JAG/TEL: 
(202)685-5393/DSN: 325//


GENTEXT/REMARKS/2008 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE/ELECTRONIC TAX 
FILING POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE// 
RMKS/1. THIS NAVADMIN PROVIDES VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE 
(VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE. THIS 
MSG SUPERSEDES REF A.
2. DURING THE 2007 TAX SEASON, VOLUNTEERS WITH THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM 
FILED NEARLY 80,000 FEDERAL AND STATE TAX RETURNS, SAVING SERVICE 
MEMBERS AND DEPENDENTS MORE THAN $9,300,000 IN COMMERCIAL TAX 
PREPARATION FEES. BASED ON THE RESOUNDING SUCCESS OF VITA/ELF IN PAST 
YEARS, WE WILL ONCE AGAIN FULLY IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM FOR THE 2008 TAX 
SEASON.
3. THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM IS A PROVEN WINNER THAT IMPROVES MORALE AND 
READINESS AND KEEPS MONEY IN SAILORS' POCKETS.  VITA/ELF SIGNIFICANTLY 
REDUCES THE EFFORT AND COST INVOLVED IN MEETING FEDERAL AND STATE TAX 
OBLIGATIONS:
A. NO PREPARATION FEES. COMMERCIAL TAX PREPARERS MAY CHARGE OVER $140 
FOR THE AVERAGE ELECTRONICALLY FILED RETURN. VITA/ELF VOLUNTEERS 
PREPARE AND FILE THE SAME RETURNS AT NO COST TO SAILORS AND DEPENDENTS.
B. FASTER REFUNDS. PAPER RETURNS MAY TAKE EIGHT OR MORE WEEKS TO 
PROCESS IN CONUS, AND EVEN LONGER IF SUBMITTED OVERSEAS OR WHILE 
DEPLOYED. BY USING VITA/ELF, REFUNDS ARE DEPOSITED DIRECTLY INTO A 
SAILOR'S BANK ACCOUNT AN AVERAGE OF TWO WEEKS FROM THE DATE OF 
TRANSMISSION, EVEN FROM OVERSEAS AND AFLOAT COMMANDS. THESE RAPID 
REFUNDS GREATLY REDUCE THE NEED FOR REFUND ANTICIPATION LOANS (SHORT-
TERM LOANS WITH ADDED CHARGES AND HIGH INTEREST RATES).
C. FEWER MISTAKES. VITA/ELF RETURNS ARE VERY ACCURATE - LESS THAN A 1 
PERCENT ERROR RATE COMPARED TO 15 PERCENT FOR PAPER RETURNS.
4. PAST TAX SEASONS HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT SUCCESS OF THE VITA/ELF 
PROGRAM IS PREDICATED ON SUPPORT FROM LOCAL COMMANDS. WHILE THE LOCAL 
NAVAL LEGAL SERVICE OFFICE (NLSO), STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE, OR FLEET AND 
FAMILY SERVICE CENTER REPRESENTATIVE WILL MANAGE TAX ASSISTANCE CENTERS, 
LOCAL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, 
AND FACILITIES. WE CANNOT RUN THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM WITHOUT VOLUNTEERS 
FROM YOUR COMANDS.
5. SUFFICIENT MANPOWER IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. THE SUPPORT OF EVERY 
COMMAND IS NECESSARY - TO INCLUDE SENDING SAILORS TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL 
DUTY (TAD) FOR THE 12-WEEK TAX SEASON OR ALLOWING PERSONNEL TO WORK 
PART-TIME AT TAX ASSISTANCE CENTERS. PART-TIME SUPPORT IS ESPECIALLY 
CRITICAL DURING FEBRUARY, THE PEAK FILING TIME. THE GOAL IS TO PROVIDE 
ONE VOLUNTEER OR TAD TAX PREPARER PER 100 MEMBERS OF EACH COMMAND. ONE 
FULL-TIME TAD TAX PREPARER (TRAINED BY THE IRS AND/OR VITA/ELF TAX 
OFFICERS) CAN PROVIDE OVER $50,000 WORTH OF SERVICES. INFORMATION 
INVOLVING TAX PREPARER TRAINING CAN BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE POC, 
CDR HAYCOCK, OR THE LOCAL NLSO.
6. THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. WITH YOUR SUPPORT, WE 
CAN CONTINUE THIS VALUABLE QUALITY OF LIFE BENEFIT FOR OUR SAILORS AND 
THEIR FAMILIES.
7. RELEASED BY ADMIRAL PATRICK M. WALSH, VCNO.//

BT

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