2009 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) ELECTRONIC TAX/FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE

RTTUZYUW RUEWMCS0000 3291821-UUUU--RUCRNAD
ZNR UUUUU
R 241821Z NOV 08
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N09//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO ZEN/CNO WASHINGTON DC//N09//
UNCLAS
NAVADMIN 334/08
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N09/NOV//
SUBJ/2009 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) ELECTRONIC TAX/FILING 
(ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE// 


REF/A/MSG/CNO/302325Z OCT 07// AMPN/REF A IS NAVADMIN 288/07// 
POC/JULKA/LT/OJAG 16/JAG/TEL: (202)685-4641/DSN: 325//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/2009 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 2008, VOLUNTEERS WITH THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM FILED MORE THAN 
73,000 FEDERAL AND STATE TAX RETURNS, SAVING SERVICE MEMBERS AND FAMILY 
MEMBERS MORE THAN $9.1 MILLION IN COMMERCIAL TAX PREPARATION FEES. 
BASED ON THE RESOUNDING SUCCESS OF VITA/ELF IN PAST YEARS, WE WILL ONCE 
AGAIN IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM FOR 2009. 
3. THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM IS A PROVEN WINNER THAT IMPROVES MORALE AND 
READINESS - AND KEEPS MONEY IN SAILORS' POCKETS - BY SIGNIFICANTLY 
REDUCING 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 TAX RETURNS AT NO COST TO SAILORS AND THEIR FAMILIES. 
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 ANY TYPE OF REFUND ANTICIPATION 
LOANS, WHICH STILL HAVE HIGH INTEREST RATES AND CHARGES EVEN IF IN 
COMPLIANCE WITH DOD PREDATORY LENDING LIMITATIONS.
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 COMMAND TAX 
REPRESENTATIVE WILL MANAGE TAX ASSISTANCE CENTERS, LOCAL COMMANDS ARE 
STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, AND FACILITIES. 
WHEN LOCAL COMMANDS SUPPORT THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM, EVERYONE BENEFITS. 
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 
REGARDING REQUIRED TAX PREPARER TRAINING OR ABOUT VOLUNTEERING CAN BE 
OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE LOCAL NLSO OR THE OJAG POC, LT JULKA. 
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, VICE CHIEF OF NAVAL 
OPERATIONS.// 
BT 
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