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NAPLES, Italy — The U.S. Navy tax center in Naples is launching a pilot program for do-it-yourself tax filers.

The Region Legal Service Office’s Legal Assistance Department received permission to set up three computer stations through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and leave them open on a walk-in basis for those who want to file taxes on their own, said Lt. Cmdr. Wendy Snyder, a Navy Region Europe spokeswoman.

Tax-paying season is fast approaching, with W-2 earning statements available on the MyPay system beginning Tuesday. The Naples office will open Feb. 11.

The computer stations are equipped with free software provided through Military OneSource, and set up in locations to offer privacy, Snyder said.

“The draw is no appointment necessary, free software, and a tax volunteer available for questions,” Snyder said. “RLSO received permission from our headquarters to conduct this pilot project, and we are very excited about its prospects.

“The software is easy to use. The advantage of using the do-it-yourself stations versus doing your taxes at home is we will have a tax volunteer on site to answer any questions.”

Getting access to those experts, however, requires an appointment.

While Naples is the only base in the European region to offer the do-it-yourself stations, other Navy bases offer the annual VITA tax preparation service to members. Programs are offered at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily; Naval Station Rota, Spain; Naval Support Activity Bahrain; and Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. Other military services also offer tax assistance at bases throughout Europe.

VITA is a free income tax advice and preparation filing service for military members, U.S. civilians and their families, and overseen by the Armed Forces Tax Council. The military tax programs generated more than 287,600 electronically filed 2006 federal income tax returns, according to a Web posting on the IRS Web site about VITA centers.

The program still needs volunteer assistants, and while previous experience is not required, volunteers must complete an online training course.


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