|Eligible military personnel in the Fort McCoy community
who would like assistance with their income tax returns are encouraged
to make an appointment with the installation’s Volunteer Income Tax
Assistance (VITA) Center program.
Rick Coffin (left), a retired
Navy veteran and Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
Center income tax preparer, helps Bill Walters, current Fort
McCoy Retirement Services Officer and also a retired Navy
veteran, complete his 2011 state and federal income tax returns.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Appointments are filling up quickly, said Rita Byers, the Fort
McCoy VITA coordinator. Eligible military personnel include
active-duty servicemembers, retirees and their Family members.
Federal tax changes this year include the slight increase in
personal exemptions and deductions and the widening of tax brackets
due to inflation adjustments related to provisions modified or
extended by legislation extending the Bush-era tax cuts. This also
includes the increase of the maximum earned-income tax credit and
the increase of the maximum income limit.
Other changes are less money available or caps on energy-credit
Byers said the energy credit still is available, but those who have
used it previously may not qualify for it or get a smaller amount
than the maximum.
The credits are available for such things as replacing furnaces,
windows or insulation to improve the energy efficiency of a house,
Byers said those who e-filed state returns may not have paper copies
of their 1099-Gs for state income tax refunds and unemployment
compensation payments mailed to them. If taxpayers need this
information, such as for itemizing their deductions, they will need
to download it from the state website, Byers said.
Other changes include:
• The value of each personal and dependent exemption, available to
most taxpayers, is $3,700, up $50 from 2010.
• The new standard deduction is $11,600 for married couples filing a
joint return, up $200; $5,800 for singles and married individuals
filing separately, up $100, and $8,500 for heads of household, also
Nearly two-thirds of taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather
than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable
contributions and state and local taxes, including property taxes.
• Tax-bracket thresholds increased for each filing status for 2011
income-tax returns. For a married couple filing a joint return, for
example, the taxable-income threshold separating the 15-percent
bracket from the 25-percent bracket is $69,000, up from $68,000 in
• The maximum earned income-tax credit (EITC) for low- and
moderate-income workers and working families is $5,751, up from
$5,666 in 2010. The maximum income limit for the EITC is $49,078, up
from $48,362 in 2010.
The credit varies by family size, filing status and other factors,
with the maximum credit going to joint filers with three or more
For more information about federal income tax returns, visit the
For more information about state of Wisconsin income tax returns,
visit the website
Eligible military personnel in the Fort McCoy community, can make
VITA appointments by calling 608-388-2165.
For more information about the program, call 608-388-4117.
Eligible military personnel also can use the income tax return
assistance (H&R Block) available on the
The site allows servicemembers to e-file one federal and up to three
state income tax returns free.