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Tax Center staff ready to help customers

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Tax season is upon us! Volunteers from the 4th Fighter Wing is again providing free tax help, to include electronic filing, for active-duty, retired, National Guard and Reserve members serving under Title 10 U.S.C. and their families.

Although the concept of filing federal or state income taxes can be intimidating to many, volunteers from the Seymour Johnson community are trained and up to speed on the latest IRS tax law issues. Trained by Internal Revenue Service Internal Revenue representatives, volunteers are ready to tackle military specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits and the effect of the new Earned Income Tax Credit.

The Tax Center, located at 1815 Wright Brothers Ave, Building 3621, will be open for business on Feb. 1 and will remain open until April 14. The Tax Center staff will offer walk-in service to all filers eligible for volunteer tax assistance Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours may change based on volunteer availability and the number of customers requesting tax assistance on any given day.

Items to bring to the Tax Center to have a tax return prepared:
· Military identification card
· Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
· Individual Taxpayer Identification Number assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
· Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
· Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
· Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
· Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
· A copy of last year's federal and state returns if available
· Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
· Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number)
· To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
· If filing for a deployed spouse, you must have a Power-of-Attorney. Please consult the legal office at (919) 722-5322 or call the IRS toll-free at (800) 829-1040 for assistance downloading a POA from their Web site - www.irs.gov.

Failure to bring any of the above documentation may result in rescheduling your appointment. Please keep in mind that volunteers are trained and tested in basic, current tax law using IRS material but will not answer technical questions for which they have not been trained. Additionally, due to IRS guidelines volunteers will not prepare complicated returns. A few examples of potentially complicated returns include if you own your own business, rent any property which you own, or have large gains or losses from stocks or bonds. Please call the Tax Center before you come to ensure we can assist you with your individual tax return.

In addition to the services offered at the base Tax Center, there are a number of online resources available to assist you in filing your tax returns. You can log onto Web sites such as www.militaryonesource.com, www.irs.gov,  and www.handrblock.com for free tax assistance for qualifying individuals.

If you choose to go to a commercial tax preparer, be warned - programs that offer an "instant refund" or an "advance on your tax refund" can be expensive and often cost you a large percentage of your tax refund in exchange for the service. In our modern age of electronic filing and direct deposit, tax refunds can be deposited into your account in a matter of days, so you shouldn't pay extra for "instant" cash. One way to decrease the waiting time of your refund is to take advantage of the Tax Center's free electronic filing program. By simply bringing a routing number and account number to the Tax Center when you file, you can choose any checking or savings account, where your refund can be deposited.

This tax season, tax volunteers stand ready and waiting to help you with all of your income tax questions and concerns. Please keep in mind the Tax Center may be closed or limit hours intermittently during the tax season due to base exercises, volunteer availability, etc. Please refer to the Wright Times or the base marquee for updates on the Tax Center's hours of operation. If you'd like to request additional information, please contact the tax center at (919) 722-5496. Please be advised the tax center line is answered only during hours of operation.
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