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VITA tax program offers free tax filing for E-5 and below

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to eligible active duty members. This tax season, Peterson AFB has six certified volunteers and one full time volunteer from Operation War Fighter, a temporary internship program for service members transitioning to the civilian workforce

Beginning Feb. 3, free tax preparation services will be available to active duty military members rank E-5 and below stationed at Peterson AFB and Cheyenne Mountain AFS and their qualifying spouses. In mid-March, the Peterson AFB VITA program will assess the feasibility of opening up the remaining appointment slots to all active duty ranks as well as retirees. Those who qualify for free services beginning Feb. 3 are encouraged to schedule an appointment as early as possible (call 556-4871 for appointment information).

Taxes will be prepared by a volunteer who has taken the IRS tax training and received the certifications required to complete the return. He or she can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. All returns prepared by the volunteer will be quality reviewed and discussed with the taxpayer prior to electronic filing.

The volunteer will provide the taxpayer with an intake form to complete prior to the meeting to assist in preparing the taxes. Ultimately the taxpayer is responsible for what is reported on the tax return based on the information and documentation provided by the taxpayer to the volunteer.

What to Bring
The following is a list of items to bring with you to your appointment.
·Proof of identification - picture ID
·Social Security cards for you, your spouse, and dependents or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration; or
·Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and family member
·Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
·Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
·Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
·Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
·A copy of last year's federal and state returns if available
·Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check
·Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
·To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

Volunteers Needed
The VITA program still needs volunteers. Our goal is to relieve Airmen of the burden of stressing about taxes and allow Airmen to concentrate on the mission. To become a VITA volunteer, contact Staff Sgt. Timothy Lewis at 556-4871. Online tax training is still available.

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