Story and Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chase Corbin

Gather up your receipts and get out the calculator! Tax season is approaching and USS John C Stennis (CVN 74) Legal Department is ready to help you get some of your money back from Uncle Sam.

In February, Sailors will be able to file their federal taxes electronically aboard Stennis.

Legal department will set up a tax center, where Sailors participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will file simple tax returns for Sailors.

“Sailors volunteer to do this,” said Disciplinary Officer Lt. Matthew Schultz. “It’s a great opportunity to help our shipmates and learn a new, valuable skill. Many people who work for the IRS got their start working as a VITA volunteer.”

The tax center, which will be located in the ship’s library, 03-118-10-L, helps an average of 400 Sailors with their tax returns per year.

“We did 627 returns in 2009,” said Schultz. “We got Stennis Sailors about $1.6 million in tax refunds, though everyone’s tax refund is different based on their particular situation.”

Sailors will need to know their date of birth, social security number and have all applicable tax documents. If a Sailor needs to file their joint taxes, they are required to bring their spouse’s W-2’s and social security numbers as well.

“This is one way we can ease the stress of being away from home and hopefully get some money in their pockets,” said Schultz.

Tax filing is for federal taxes and excludes state taxes, businesses, rental properties and complicated capital losses.

All tax refunds will be directly deposited into the Sailor’s bank account. Sailors with rejected returns will be notified by a volunteer via e-mail.

If Sailors need an extension on filing their taxes, they can request one by filing IRS form 4868. This form can be found at

The tax center is aboard Stennis to answer questions about taxes and help file returns so that Stennis Sailors will have one less worry during these busy pre-deployment stages.