First principles total energy calculations were performed in order to characterize O vacancy defects in Ta2O5. A simplified version of the crystalline orthorhombic phase of Ta2O5 was used in this study. Results indicate that O vacancies in Ta2O5 can be broadly classified based on their location in the lattice. One type of vacancies (occupying the “in-plane” sites) displays deep or mid gap occupied states, and shallow unoccupied states, while a second type (occupying “cap” sites) results in shallow occupied states. For a wide range of local Fermi level or chemical potential, the neutral and +2 charged states of the in-plane type vacancy and the +2 charge state of the cap type vacancy are found to be most stable. Migration energies of the two types of vacancies in the neutral and +2 charge states are markedly different, with the “cap” type of vacancies displaying very high barriers to migration (∼ 5 eV) compared to the “in-plane” type (∼ 0.5–1.0 eV).