VITA Center to accept tax preparation
appointments beginning Jan. 22
|The Fort McCoy Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Center will provide income tax preparation services beginning in
February for authorized personnel, to include e-filing of both federal
and state income tax returns at no charge.
Eligible personnel include active-duty personnel; regular retirees;
Reserve retirees drawing their military pension; Reserve personnel on
active duty; and their Family members.
An important change will affect the eligibility of some retirees to use
the service. Tax preparation services for retirees will be limited to
those households with a 2011 adjusted gross income (AGI) of $100,000 or
This change is consistent with guidelines set forth by the VITA program
and is being implemented due to limited resources. This change only
affects retirees. Active-duty and Reserve military personnel and their
Family members are not affected by AGI limits and will be eligible to
use the VITA program.
Another change is that Col. Audrey J. Lewis, one of the Fort McCoy VITA
coordinators, has worked with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and
obtained approval for the inaugural use of a stand-alone, free,
tax-service terminal at the Installation Legal Office (ILO), building
1644. Plans are for this terminal to be available on a first-come,
first-served basis for all eligible VITA clients with AGIs of $57,000
and less. Essentially, clients will prepare their return at no cost,
digitally sign with a created pin, and e-file their returns themselves.
ILO VITA staff will be available to answer tax questions and aid in
navigation of the system. Under this program, however; unlike VITA
prepared returns, the return must be prepared, signed, and submitted by
Jim Markgraf, who serves as the other Fort McCoy VITA coordinator, said
many volunteers from last year’s program, including Air Force personnel,
have indicated their intent to return as volunteers and assist clients.
Rita Byers, Fort McCoy’s VITA coordinator for many years until her
retirement, will return in a limited role as a volunteer, as well.
The Fort McCoy VITA Center will begin scheduling appointments for income
tax assistance starting Jan. 22, with actual tax return preparation
beginning the first full week of February.
VITA services are free and include federal and state income tax
preparation and e-filing services. IRS officials recommend e-filing of
income tax returns because e-filing gets refunds into taxpayers’ hands
more quickly and tends to be more accurate than manually completing and
mailing the returns. E-filing also gives taxpayers confirmation their
tax returns have been received.
Websites for income tax returns are: federal at
www.irs.gov; and State of Wisconsin at
www.revenue.wi.gov. Both of
these websites offer excellent information for anyone preparing their
tax returns. Electronic versions of income tax forms also are available
at these sites. Paper copies of tax forms are no longer available in
For the time being, personnel are encouraged to begin identifying and
assembling the documents they will need to prepare and submit their tax
returns, such as, Social Security cards; tax-withholding statements
(W-2s); interest or dividend statements (1099s); property tax payment
records; written records of any other itemized deductions; and, all
other pertinent tax documents.
Many other organizations offer VITA services with free income tax-return
assistance. The Tomah Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center again will
offer a VITA Program for qualified veterans and the public based on
income guidelines. AARP also provides free tax-preparation services at
multiple locations within the state.
For more information about tax forms or documentation needed for VITA
services at Fort McCoy, call ILO at 608-388-4117. Appointments won’t be
accepted before Jan. 22.