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December 09, 2011

Community

VITA begins preparations to assist military personnel during tax season

The tax-filing season is fast approaching and the Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center is preparing to assist authorized military-personnel complete their income tax returns.

Rita Byers, Fort McCoy VITA coordinator, said many volunteers from last year’s program, including Air Force personnel, have indicated they plan to return. People interested in volunteering and learning about federal and state income tax returns also are welcome to support the program. Call 608-388-4117 for more information about the type of commitment necessary to serve in the role of a VITA volunteer.

The Fort McCoy VITA Center expects to begin accepting appointments for income tax assistance in late January, with appointments being scheduled, beginning in February. Eligible personnel include active-duty and retired military personnel and their Family members.

VITA services are free and include federal and state income tax preparation and e-filing services. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials recommend E-filing of income tax returns because the process gets refunds into taxpayers’ hands quicker and tends to be more accurate than manually filling out forms and mailing in the paperwork. E-filing also gives taxpayers confirmation their tax returns have been received.

The website for federal income tax returns is www.irs.gov.

The website for state of Wisconsin income tax returns is www.revenue.wi.gov.

Both of these websites also offer excellent information for anyone doing their tax returns, Byers said. Electronic versions of income tax forms also will be available on these sites. Paper copies of the tax forms are no longer mailed.

Several items affecting income tax determinations have not yet been finalized, but are expected to be determined by the end of the year. Byers said people can track new developments and obtain other assistance at the relevant federal and state websites.

For the time being, personnel are encouraged to begin identifying and assembling the documents they will need to submit their taxes.

Byers said these include wage and tax-withholding statements (W-2s), any interest or dividends received (1099s), property taxes paid, written records of any other itemized deductions, and all other pertinent tax documents.

Participants should bring along copies of their last federal and state income tax returns and any supporting documents for those, as well. Personnel seeking tax assistance also must provide their Social Security cards. No returns will be prepared this year without Social Security cards for all individuals listed on returns.

Many other organizations offer VITA services or free income tax return assistance. The Tomah Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center will again offer a VITA program for qualified veterans and the public based on income guidelines.

Appointments will be accepted beginning in late January 2012 and can be made by calling 608-372-1242.
The number won’t be monitored until late January 2012.

For more information about the VA VITA program, call 608-372-1242 and leave a question and call back number.

For more information about the VITA program at Fort McCoy, call Byers at 608-388-4117. Appointments will be accepted beginning in late January. To make an appointment, call 608-388-2165 and press “4” on the call attendant.

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