VITA tax service saves $$$$ in refunds for active, retired personnel
By Nathan Hanks
| | January 24, 2013
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Tax Center has provided free tax assistance to active-duty military, retirees and their family members for more than 20 years.
The Tax Center officially opened Tuesday and is located in Building 3500, Room 10.
The center’s hours of operation will be Mondays through Fridays from 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., by appointment only.
To schedule an appointment or obtain more information, call 229-639-6186.
To assist filers with what can sometimes seem to be a daunting task is a group of Marines known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance representatives.
“Marines working in the Tax Center are volunteers and have been trained to prepare taxes,” Gunnery Sgt. Morgon W. Latimore, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Tax Center, said. “The Marines have undergone a one-week tax preparation training course, which consists of learning how to prepare 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and the Georgia Form 500, and other forms.”
The Marines will provide patrons with tax advice and prepare electronic filing of state and federal tax returns until the end of tax season, April 15, Latimore said, who is responsible for overseeing the center’s daily operations and ensuring taxes are prepared properly.
“We will assist tax payers beginning January 22, but the returns will not be sent to the Internal Revenue Service until the first filing day,” Sgt. Phillip Alexander, noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Tax Center, said. “The first day of the filing season is January 30.”
To help expedite the filing process, tax payers must bring the following:
* Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit (Bring a voided check or deposit slip for both savings and checking accounts in case money is owed.)
* Military and family member identification cards
* Spouse’s and children’s social security cards
* Date of birth for self and all family members
* Social security numbers or employer identification numbers for all day care providers, amounts paid and addresses
* If a service member is overseas and the spouse is filing for both, the spouse must bring a power of attorney authorizing them to file and sign for service member.
* 2011 Tax Return (not mandatory)
* W-2s - All W-2 forms for spouse and self for 2012
* 1099-INT - All interest-received statements for 2012
* 1099-MISC - Any miscellaneous income received, self-employment, rental property, etc. for 2012
* 1099-DIV - All dividends and gain from stocks and mutual funds for 2012
“If filing married and jointly, both do not need to be present, but the Tax Center will require a power of attorney
to properly execute the tax return,” Latimore said. “If filing married and separately, bring spouse’s social security number and current name on social security card, and indicate whether spouse has already filed.”
Upon arrival at the Tax Center, patrons must fill out an in-take and review sheet to provide the basic information needed to start the process.
Latimore said the service may save tax payers up to $400 in service fees. He also recommends filing taxes early to save time waiting for returns.
“As the tax season progresses, there will be more returns being processed and the turnaround time may increase,” he said. “Generally speaking, the Tax Center can get your income tax refund in approximately seven to 10 days.”