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January 25, 2013

News

VITA tax-preparation services at McCoy for military-eligible personnel begin Feb. 4

The Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center is scheduled to start preparing and filing taxes beginning the week of Feb. 4 for authorized military personnel.

The scheduled starting date was delayed by a week due to late tax-law updates and because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not accept electronic return filing until Jan. 31. Tax appointments are required and are being scheduled.

Personnel eligible to make appointments through the VITA program include active-duty and retired military personnel and their Family members. Tax-preparation service for retired personnel is limited to those returns with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $100,000 or less. Active-duty military personnel and their Families are not subject to this AGI limitation.

VITA services are free and include federal and state income-tax preparation with e-filing services. IRS officials recommend e-filing tax returns. E-filing gets refunds into taxpayers’ hands faster, tends to be more accurate than manually filling out forms, and gives taxpayers confirmation that tax returns have been received.

Also, the VITA Center at building 1644 remains slated to offer the use of a stand-alone, free, tax service-terminal. This service will be available starting Feb. 4 on a first-come, first-served basis, for VITA clients with AGIs of $57,000 or less.

To prepare for their VITA Center visit, Jim Markgraf, Fort McCoy VITA coordinator, said personnel should assemble statements (wage and tax-withholding (W-2s), any interest or dividends received (1099s), property taxes paid), and written records of any other itemized deductions, as well as all other pertinent tax documents to aid in preparation of their income-tax returns. For individuals who itemize deductions and received a Wisconsin state refund, a paper Form 1099-G no longer is mailed. Clients must use the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website and print out their 1099-G and bring it in with their other tax documentation.

Participants also should bring copies of their last federal and state income-tax returns and any supporting documents.

Personnel seeking tax assistance must provide Social Security Cards for themselves, spouse if applicable, and all dependents listed on the tax return. No returns will be prepared this year without all required Social Security Cards per an IRS mandate.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue website is www.revenue.wi.gov, and the IRS website is www.irs.gov.

Markgraf noted he has been asked many questions about the ending of the payroll tax reduction. This does not affect 2012 income tax returns.

However, people who have payroll (Social Security) taxes withheld likely will have a smaller paycheck throughout 2013 because the 2 percent reduction in the tax that was in effect for the last two years expired.

For more information about the Fort McCoy VITA program, call 608-388-4117. To make an appointment, call 608-388-2165 and press “4” when prompted by the phone menu option.

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