Last-minute changes or continuations approved by the U.S.
Congress were among the topics that personnel who will help staff the
Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center gained
expertise in while completing their training/certification process.
Personnel from the
community review federal income tax provisions during VITA
McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
The Fort McCoy VITA Center, building 1644, is accepting calls
for appointments, which will begin Monday, Feb. 4, said Rita Byers of
the Fort McCoy VITA Center. The free services are available to
active-duty military personnel, retirees and their family members.
Active-duty personnel will have priority. The services also will
include free e-filing of returns.
The Fort McCoy VITA volunteers can handle routine return forms
for individuals, Byers said.
People who have federal income tax returns that include five
special tax forms relating to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
legislation will not be able to schedule an appointment until at least
Monday, Feb. 11. John Lulay of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said
Feb. 11 is the target date for the IRS to have updated and tested
their computer systems to handle the revised forms.
An IRS press release said the form revision will affect as many
as 13.5 million taxpayers.
Five other provisions were extended for the 2007 federal income
tax return season and are: 1) the deduction from adjusted gross income
(AGI) for education expenses; 2) the deduction for qualified tuition
and fees: 3) the District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit (for
homes purchased before Jan. 1, 2008); 4) the election to include
nontaxable combat pay in earned income for figuring the earned income
credit; and 5) the itemized deduction for state and local general
sales taxes. Lulay noted that servicemembers declaring the standard
amount for this will do so for the state of their official residence,
not the state where they are serving.
sites located throughout area
In addition to Fort McCoy,
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites will be available
in Tomah and Sparta in Monroe County.
Tomah VA Medical Center will offer VITA assistance to
veterans and the general public, who generally have lower
incomes. Veterans will have preference. Services will be free
and include completing simple tax forms for individuals and
Personnel interested in this service can call (608)
372-1242 and leave a message. Volunteers will get back to the
callers and tell them if they qualify and what documents/forms
they need to have.
VITA services also will be available at the Sparta Barney
Center, 1000 E. Montgomery St. The facility is open to the
public. Office hours will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays.
Services will include assistance with simple, individual
tax forms and e-filing.
To make an appointment or for more information, call
More information about VITA sites/services also is
available by visiting the Web site
and typing in the words "VITA sites" in the search
A number of increases in limits or contributions to retirement
savings plans, including Individual Retirement Accounts and pension
plans, were enacted, he said.
Other increases in tax items included those for earned income
credits, standard deductions, adoption tax credit and Hope or lifetime
learning credit income limits. Standard deductions have increased to
$5,350 (up $200) if filing as a single or married filing separately;
$10,700 (up $400) if filing married jointly or qualifying widow(er);
or $7,850 (up $300) for head of household.
Several changes are in store for people who itemize their
Lulay said record keeping for deducting cash contributions
(charity) as part of itemized deductions has gotten stricter. The new
guidelines require each amount to be documented by a written
communication from a charity or a bank record, such as a canceled
check or bank statement. These do not have to be shown to the tax
preparer, but must be available if they are requested.
In addition, people paying mortgage insurance premiums (private
mortgage insurance) may be able to treat these funds that are paid in
connection with home acquisition debt (rolled into the repayment cost
of a mortgage) as home mortgage interest.
People who were eligible, but didn't claim the telephone excise
tax credit on their 2006 federal income tax returns, still can file an
amended 1040X to receive this credit, Lulay said. For people who
weren't required to file a 2006 return, they can submit 2006 Form
1040EZ-T, Request for Refund of Federal Telephone Excise Tax.
Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and
eligibility can be found at the Web site http://www.irs-eitc.info/SPEC/.
The EITC is a valuable, but complex, tax break for lower income
workers. Personnel who meet certain income and/or investment limits
are eligible for this credit. Special activities are planned for
Thursday, Jan. 31, as part of a special awareness day. People who are
eligible for EITC often are eligible for free tax preparation
For more information about federal income taxes, including
instructions and forms, visit http://www.irs.gov.
For information about e-filing federal income tax returns, visit http://www.irs.gov/efile.
People who e-file their taxes can request direct deposit.
Fort McCoy VITA volunteers also can help complete or find
assistance to help taxpayers complete state tax returns, such as those
New features for 2007 Wisconsin state returns include
increasing the tuition and fees paid maximum subtraction to $4,843 per
student. New credits include an Internet equipment credit, the
enterprise zone jobs credit and the dairy manufacturing facility
investment credit. The deduction for exemptions line (17 on Wisconsin
Form 1) has been redesigned to help prevent errors. This line gives
deductions of $700 for each exemption claimed on the federal income
tax returns or $250 (if 65 or older).
For more information about forms, instructions and e-filing,
visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Web site at http://www.revenue.wi.gov.
Eligible personnel in the Fort McCoy community can get
volunteer or tax questions answered by calling (608) 388-4117.
For general information about the Fort McCoy VITA program and
to make appointments, call (608) 388-2165.