It’s time to get organized for filing your 2015 taxes. The year’s filing deadline is Monday, April 18. Why the change from April 15th? Emancipation Day—a Federal holiday—is being observed on Friday, April 15th, and all federal offices (including the IRS) will be closed. If you file in Maine or Massachusetts, your deadline for filing is Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Want free assistance preparing your taxes? The military-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) offers free tax advice and preparation, return filing, and other tax assistance to military members and their families. VITA is sponsored by the IRS and available on most large military installations worldwide. VITA tax preparers are trained by the IRS to help with complicated military-specific issues such as combat zone benefits and tax law changes that could benefit military families.
To locate VITA services near you, contact your legal assistance office.
Here’s what you’ll need to take with you to the military VITA site:
- Photo ID
- Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on your tax return
- Wage and earning statements (W-2, W-2G and 1099-R forms) from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from your banks (1099 forms)
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
- Receipts for charitable donations
- Last year’s state and federal returns, if available
- Other relevant information about income and expenses (e.g. total amount paid for day care, day care provider identifying number, tax ID or Social Security number)
Even if you decide to prepare your own tax return, you can take it to a military-affiliated VITA center to have a VITA preparer review it at no cost. Not only are VITA volunteers IRS trained, they get special training and continuous support through the military legal assistance establishment.