Tax center provides free service, needs volunteers



by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs


1/11/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Maxwell Tax Center along with its team of volunteers is doing its part to help take the confusion out of filing 2012 tax returns through offering a free tax service.

The tax center will be available to military members and their family members, although others could be included depending on the number of volunteers available.

Active duty, reservists, Air National Guard, military family members, retirees and civilian employees are all eligible to volunteer at the center, and previous experience is not required. Volunteers will be equipped with web-based and instructor training, allowing them to become qualified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance representatives, or VITA, volunteers.

Last year VITA volunteers helped 1,300 base personnel save more than $163,000 by ensuring each person received the accurate credits and deductions on tax forms.

Not only do volunteers benefit the community with a professional tax service, but they will also gain knowledge about their own taxes, according to Staff Sgt. Gavin Miller, NCO in charge of the tax center.

Volunteer training will run Jan. 22-25 from 7:30 a.m. -4 p.m. and will be conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the legal office. The tax center hopes to have 20 -25 volunteers this year to help with simple tax returns.

The tax center will be open for services Feb. 4 through April 15, and will be located in the legal office of the 42nd Air Base Wing, building 804. Appointments can only be made by calling 953-3529, and each session may last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour depending on the complications of the tax return and the preparedness of those seeking services.

Miller said that those seeking tax services should come to their scheduled appointment with their W2 forms, their Social Security cards along with those of their family members, any receipts, last year's tax return, and 1099 and 1098 forms.

Organization is key to a successful tax return. "Make sure you keep accurate records, receipts and bring in all the necessary documents the day of your appointment," said Miller.

Miller also mentioned that such things as rental properties, sale of stocks and sale of mutual funds may complicate the tax return process, and such items should be put in order before the appointment as well.