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VITA program offers free tax assistance

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With the start of the New Year, the forms needed for filing income taxes will soon be arriving. The Vandenberg tax team is here to help Team V at their new location in the 30th Space Wing headquarters building.

Not only will they be available to assist, the volunteer income tax assistants will have critical IRS information readily available on topics such as the Earned Income Credit, Additional Child Credit, deductions, and other important financial aspects that may be on people's minds this holiday season.

Since the W-2's will be available early next year on the Web, taxes can now be prepared much sooner than ever before. However, the first date to file taxes electronically is Jan. 20. State electronic filing is not always as quick, but the base tax office can prepare state forms and electronically file them with a person's federal e-file action, thus insuring the quickest refund turnaround time.

Now is a good opportunity to clean out those closets for one last charitable deduction for those people planning to itemize. Also, people might consider making any cash contributions before the end of the year to take advantage of this deduction.

There are a few more substantial documents that the VITAs will need in order to prepare member's taxes. Some of the most common are:

· A copy of Social Security cards for taxpayer, spouse, and all dependents.
· A voided check for those member's who desire direct deposit of their return.
· Form W-2 from each employer. Active duty members may obtain this from www.mypay.dfas.mil.
· Childcare/ Daycare expense information. Member's will also need name, SSN and address of the childcare provider.

Many states, like California, have implemented use taxes on out-of-state sales of merchandise purchased through catalogues, home shopping television or the Internet, and shipped in-state for the privilege of using those goods within their borders. California has added a new line to their forms for this change in the tax law. The tax office will have this updated information.

Staying on top of changing state and federal tax issues has never been easy, but to keep current the tax volunteers will be completing this season's tax program training in early January. Take advantage of their experience and updated knowledge and contact a unit tax advisor to schedule an appointment - the earlier the better. UTAs are now being identified and their contact information will be posted soon.

Remember, this tax preparation service is provided free of charge to all active duty and retired military as well as their dependants. For more information, call 606-3650.