2010 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE

RTTUZYUW RUEWMCS0000 3491615-UUUU--RUCRNAD.
ZNR UUUUU
R 151615Z DEC 09
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//DNS//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//DNS//
BT
UNCLAS
NAVADMIN 362/09
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/DNS/DEC// 
SUBJ/2010 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF) 
POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE// REF/A/MSG/CNO/241821Z NOV 08// 


AMPN/REF A IS NAVADMIN 334/08// POC/LEE/LCDR/OJAG 16/JAG/TEL:202-685-
4641/DSN:325// 
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 2009, VOLUNTEERS WITH THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM FILED MORE THAN 63,000 
FEDERAL AND STATE TAX RETURNS, SAVING SERVICE MEMBERS AND FAMILY MEMBERS MORE 
THAN $7 MILLION IN COMMERCIAL TAX PREPARATION FEES, AND PROVIDING OVER $94 
MILLION IN FEDERAL INCOME TAX REFUNDS. BASED ON THE SUCCESS OF VITA/ELF IN 
PAST YEARS, WE WILL ONCE AGAIN IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM FOR 2010.
3. THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM IMPROVES BOTH MORALE AND READINESS BY SIGNIFICANTLY 
REDUCING THE EFFORT AND COST INVOLVED IN MEETING FEDERAL AND STATE TAX 
OBLIGATIONS.
A. VITA KEEPS MONEY IN SAILOR'S POCKETS. COMMERCIAL TAX PREPARERS MAY CHARGE 
OVER $150 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 
THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, 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 WHEN IN COMPLIANCE WITH DOD PREDATORY LENDING LIMITATIONS.
C. FEWER MISTAKES. VITA/ELF RETURNS ARE VERY ACCURATE, AVERAGING LESS THAN A 
ONE 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, THESE CENTERS DEPEND ON LOCAL COMMAND ASSISTANCE TO 
PROVIDE THE PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT, AND FACILITIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL VITA/ELF TAX 
CENTER.
5. SUFFICIENT MANPOWER IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. THE SUPPORT OF EVERY COMMAND IS 
NECESSARY, FROM SENDING SAILORS ON TEMPORARY ADDITIONAL DUTY (TAD) ORDERS FOR 
THE DURATION OF THE TAX SEASON, TO ALLOWING PERSONNEL TO WORK PART-TIME AT TAX 
ASSISTANCE CENTERS DURING NORMAL DUTY HOURS.  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 ON REQUIRED TAX PREPARER TRAINING 
OR ABOUT VOLUNTEERING CAN BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE LOCAL NAVY LEGAL 
SERVICES OFFICE OR LCDR LEE AT THE OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL (CODE 
16) AT (202) 685-4641 (DSN: 325) OR DAVID.H.LEE1@NAVY.MIL.
6. THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM REMAINS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. WITH YOUR SUPPORT, WE CAN 
CONTINUE THIS VALUABLE QUALITY OF LIFE BENEFIT FOR OUR SAILORS AND THEIR 
FAMILIES.
7. RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL SAM J. LOCKLEAR III, DIRECTOR, NAVY STAFF.// 
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