January 16, 2014 --
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Tax Center will help prepare and file federal and state taxes for active-duty military, retirees and family members for free.
The Albany Tax Center opened Wednesday and is located in Building 3500, Room 314. Its hours of operation will be Mondays through Fridays from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., by appointment only.
To schedule an appointment, call 229-639-6186.
Seven Marines, known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance representatives, will provide patrons with tax advice and prepare the 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and the Georgia Form 500, and other forms until the end of tax season, April 15, according to Sgt. Danielle Valles, VITA site coordinator, Albany Tax Center.
“We will assist taxpayers beginning January 15, but the returns will not be sent to the Internal Revenue Service until the first filing day,” she said. “We believe the first filing day will be the beginning of February because of the government shutdown, but we don’t have an exact date, yet. All the returns will be electronically filed on the first filing day. They will be held until the Internal Revenue Service is ready.
“If there is a previous year tax return that needs to be amended, we will make those adjustments for the clients,” Valles added.
VITA representatives recommend taxpayers file as soon as possible.
“Any of the Marines with basic returns should come as soon as possible and when the electronically file date hits, we’ll file those for them,” Valles said. “Once we electronically file, the tax refund should be received in approximately seven to ten days.”
To help expedite the filing process, taxpayers 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 him or her to file and sign for the service member.
* 2012 Tax Return (not mandatory)
* W-2s - All W-2 forms for spouse and self for 2013
* 1099-INT - All interest-received statements for 2013
* 1099-MISC - Any miscellaneous income received, self-employment, rental property, etc., for 2013
* 1099-DIV - All dividends and gain from stocks and mutual funds for 2013
* New car contract (not used/formerly owned)
“If filing married and jointly, both do not need to be present, but the Albany Tax Center will require a power of attorney to properly execute the tax return,” Valles said. “If filing married and separately, bring spouse’s social security number and current name on social security card, and indicate whether he or she has already filed.”
Upon arrival at the Albany Tax Center, patrons must fill out an in-take/interview and quality review sheet to provide the basic information needed to start the process.
Valles noted that she is responsible for conducting taxpayers’ quality reviews and authorizing e-filing for state and federal income taxes.
Valles and Sgt. Shelly Robinson will conduct a quality review - a series of questions - on each return.
“There’s a series of questions we have to go through to ensure (the returns are processed properly),” Valles said.
Robinson, who’s serving as a VITA representative for the second consecutive year, emphasized that active-duty military, retirees and their family members should take advantage of the Albany Tax Center because “it’s free and we’re trained by Internal Revenue Service individuals. If we have questions, we can contact the Internal Revenue Service direct-ly.”
Cpl. Fabio Chapina-Rodriguez, who’s also serving for the second time as a VITA representative, said he volunteered again this year because he had fun working with retirees and “now that I know more I hope to have more returns and (work) the harder tax returns.”
Last year, the Albany Tax Center filed 938 federal and state returns and assisted 704 patrons, Valles said, noting the Albany Tax Center may save a taxpayer an average of $100-$400 in preparation fees.
Those with filing questions may call Valles at 229-639-7114.