Fort McCoy News Jan. 26, 2018

Tax season fast approaching; help available online

With the arrival of the new year, the annual tax-filing season is gearing up and will run through April 17. This is two days later than the standard deadline because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and a Washington, D.C., holiday falls on April 16.

While the new tax law signed into legislation during December 2017 may retroactively affect some business-related tax matters, it does not affect personal taxes filed in the 2017 tax-filing season. Also, any requests for extensions to file 2017 taxes, which generally can be processed as late as Oct. 15, are not affected by the newly signed tax legislation.

Tax form

For the 2017 tax-filing season, the Fort McCoy Installation Legal Office (ILO) will not provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA services may return in the future.

Many organizations in the local community offer free tax preparation and e-filing. The Tomah Veterans Affairs Hospital will offer a VITA program for veterans, and AARP offers assistance in Wisconsin. VITA guidelines generally limit free services to individuals and Families with adjusted gross incomes of $64,000 or less. The Tomah VA Hospital VITA Center will be open Saturdays during the filing season. Appointments can be made by calling 608-372-1242.

For those who are looking for free do-it-yourself tax-filing services, Military One Source (www.militaryonesource.mil) links to "MilTax." Several commercial tax vendors offer free tax filing, including e-filing, to the general public based on income guidelines.

Key websites for income tax return information are www.irs.gov and www.revenue.wi.gov. Both sites offer information for anyone preparing their own tax returns or trying to clarify tax issues. Electronic versions of income tax forms are also available online.

Begin identifying and assembling the documents needed for preparation and submission of tax returns, including tax-withholding statements (W-2s), interest or dividends statements (1099s), property tax information and receipts, and rent certificates.

For more information or other tax-related concerns, Fort McCoy military personnel can contact the ILO at 608-388-4117.

   (Article prepared by the Installation Legal Office.)