The Fort Polk Installation Tax Center offers the same assistance for free to Soldiers, retirees and their Family members.
The Tax Center opens Jan. 22 in bldg 2502 on the corner of Alabama Avenue and 25th Street. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The center remains open until April 15. Appointments will have priority so call 531-1040. Walk-ins for preparation of an electronic tax return will also be available but on a limited basis and taxpayers should be patient.
With possible changes to tax laws for allowances, deductions and some benefits expiring, the Tax Center will prepare returns based on last year’s criteria. By filing too soon, an amended return may have to be prepared and taxpayers may have to repay any over payment received. If there are changes, the Tax Center will have the information updated immediately. The office will also have paper forms if you owe taxes or want to fill out your federal return, then mail it.
To prepare your tax return and provide a faster, smoother process, please use the following as your checklist prior to making an appointment or walk-in:
• Both spouses must be present to file joint returns unless the absent spouse has prepared a power of attorney that is valid and allows the other spouse to file and sign a tax return for him or her. The spouse must bring the original power of attorney.
• Social Security cards are required for the Soldier, spouse and all family members being claimed on the tax return.
• Know dates of birth for the Soldier, spouse and all family members being claimed.
• Bring originals of all W-2s. (Now would be a good time to notify past employers of your current address so they will send the W-2 directly to you. Substitute W-2s are not eligible for filing until after Feb. 15.) W-2s will become available for military and retirees under their “My Pay” account in mid-January. Employers have until Jan. 30 to mail their W-2s to you.
• If you have any interest income from banks or stocks, bring Form 1099.
• If you received any unemployment compensation, retirement pay or mortgage interest paid, bring Form 1098.
• If you expect the armed forces to pay on your student loan, inquire about the W-2 or request a duplicate W-2 from finance. For any other payment you made on your student loan, the organization will send you the necessary information. If you don’t receive that confirmation of payments, contact that organization.
• If you claim any education expenses, provide your student registration for itemized expenses paid and any loans or grants that were to be applied.
• If you are claiming an exemption for a person who is in someone else’s legal custody, you will need either IRS Form 8332 signed by the custodial person and a court order or other divorce paperwork saying you may claim the exemption for that person.
• To take the child care deduction, you will need the child care providers’ name, Social Security number or tax identification number, address and the total amount paid. Most child care providers give you an itemized statement with this information.
• If you intend to itemize and charitable deductions will be included, bring a letter from the church or official charity that received the benefit.
• Bring last year’s federal and state returns. To prepare your state return, you must have last year’s copy if you want assistance with this year’s state return.
• Bring last year’s federal tax return if you had rental property, depreciation, itemized deductions or capital gains or losses.
• If you want to have your refund directly deposited into your checking or savings account, bring a check or other confirmation of your routing number and bank account number.