2011 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE

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R 281544Z DEC 10
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO AL NAVADMIN
NAVADMIN
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PASS TO ALL OFFICE CODES:

NAVADMIN 415/10

MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/DNS/DEC//

SUBJ/2011 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)/ELECTRONIC TAX
FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE//



REF/A/MSG/CNO WASHINGTON DC/151615ZDEC09//
AMPN/REF A IS NAVADMIN 362/09//
POC/KURODA/LT/OJAG 16/JAG/TEL: (202)685-4641/DSN: 325//

RMKS/1.  2011 VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING
POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE.

2.  THIS NAVADMIN PROVIDES VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA)
/ELECTRONIC TAX FILING (ELF) POLICY AND PROGRAM GUIDANCE.  THIS MSG
SUPERSEDES REF A.

3.  DURING 2010, VOLUNTEERS WITH THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM FILED MORE THAN
61,000 FEDERAL AND STATE TAX RETURNS, SAVING SERVICE MEMBERS AND
FAMILY MEMBERS MORE THAN $7 MILLION IN COMMERCIAL TAX PREPARATION
FEES, AND PROVIDING OVER $81M IN FEDERAL INCOME TAX REFUNDS.  BASED
ON THE SUCCESS OF VITA/ELF IN PAST YEARS, WE WILL ONCE AGAIN
IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM FOR 2011.

4.  THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM IMPROVES BOTH QUALITY OF LIFE 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 $170 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 INCONUS, AND EVEN LONGER IF SUBMITTED OVERSEAS OR WHILE
DEPLOYED.  BY USING VITA/ELF, REFUNDS ARE DEPOSITED DIRECTLY INTO A
SAILOR'S BANK ACCOUNT ON AN AVERAGE OF TWO WEEKS FROM THE DATE OF
TRANSMISSION, EVEN FROM OVERSEAS AND AFLOAT COMMANDS.  SPEEDY
REFUNDS GREATLY REDUCE THE NEED FOR ANY TYPE OF REFUND ANTICIPATION
LOAN, WHICH 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.

5.  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 TO OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL VITA/ELF TAX
CENTER.

6.  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 NLSO OR LT KURODA AT THE OFFICE OF
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL (CODE 16) AT (202) 685-4641 (DSN: 325) OR
JANELLE.KURODA@NAVY.MIL.

7.  THE VITA/ELF PROGRAM REMAINS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, AND WITH YOUR
SUPPORT, WE CAN CONTINUE THIS VALUABLE QUALITY OF LIFE BENEFIT FOR
OUR SAILORS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

8.  RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL J. M. BIRD, DIRECTOR, NAVY STAFF.//
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