LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
Tax season is approaching, and the Lackland Tax Center will be providing free tax preparation of both federal and state income tax returns for active duty, Reserve, National Guard, retired military, and their dependents.
This year, active-duty servicemembers stationed at Security Hill will also be served by the Lackland Tax Center. Priority will be given to basic trainees and technical school students.
The tax center will be located in Bldg. 9020 on the northwest corner of Truemper Street and Carswell Avenue in Room 109, Classroom B. Parking will be north of Bldg. 9020 off Carswell Avenue. The entrance to the tax center is on the south side of the building.
The tax center opens Feb. 1 and will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. The tax center will be closed on Fridays. Appointments, which can be made beginning Jan. 25, are required for everyone except basic trainees and technical school students who may be seen on a walk-in basis.
In addition to the tax center, most units and organizations will have at least one unit tax advisor ready to assist with income tax returns.
UTAs will work out of their squadron and have completed a comprehensive training course and examination to become certified tax advisors. They have all the necessary reference materials and forms for processing returns. Active-duty servicemembers are strongly encouraged to seek assistance from their UTA before coming to the tax center. A list of UTAs will be sent to active-duty members via e-mail.
Those who prefer to self-prepare and file their taxes from home may do so electronically through www.MilitaryOneSource.com
The free service uses the customized H&R Block At Home program and offers tax consultation by phone.
To ensure the free, customized military OneSource product, the service must be accessed through www.MilitaryOneSource.com
People self-preparing and filing their taxes on paper forms may pick up the appropriate forms from the tax center beginning Feb. 1.
Look for additional information about the tax center and the number to call for appointments in future editions of the Talespinner.
In the meantime, here are some tips to remember to prepare for the upcoming tax season:
For those deploying, it may be helpful to designate someone to represent you on a federal tax matter.
To do this, fill out and sign IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and provide it to the person you want to file your taxes. This IRS form does not require a notary.
Only certain limited individuals may be designated as your representative. Examples include, but are not limited to, immediate family members, attorneys, and certified public accountants.
Forms can be downloaded at www.irs.gov or can be picked up at the tax center in February.
For military personnel serving in a combat zone, the IRS automatically extends the deadline for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing a claim for a refund, and taking other actions related to federal income tax.
The IRS also extends the deadline for those deployed overseas, away from their permanent duty station, in support of operations in a qualified hazardous duty area but outside the qualified hazardous duty area.
The deadline for filing returns, making payments or taking any other action with the IRS is extended for at least 180 days after the last day of the qualifying combat zone service, or the last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone.
Members may qualify for a deferral of taxes owed if they can show that their ability to pay taxes was affected by their military service.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides this benefit. However, the deferral is not automatic. A taxpayer must apply for it. When applying, the taxpayer must show how the military service affected the taxpayer's ability to pay.
A taxpayer must also have received a notice of tax due or have an installment agreement with the IRS before applying for the deferral. The deferral does not extend the deadline for filing any tax returns.
For more information, call the legal office at 671-3362.