Free Tax assistance available for Vicenza Military Community


The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate will again be providing free tax preparation assistance beginning late January 2013.

 

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At the time of your appointment, you should have in your possession:

1) A completed 2012 Vicenza Tax Intake Sheet
2) Copies of Social Security Cards
3) Copies of W-2s
4) Copies of 1099s
5) Any receipts necessary to substantiate itemized deductions
6) Any other documentation you would like to have considered in the preparation of your tax return.

The required intake sheet is available for pick up at the Installation Legal Office or in pdf form (you must print out and fill in manually) Call DSN: 634-7316 for an appointment.

By visiting www.irs.gov, you can find out the latest tax credits and taxes benefits unique to military members such as: first-time homebuyer credit, economic stimulus payments for military combat personnel and tax breaks related to military service, including two provisions that may require amended returns

Q & A
How do I make an appointment at the Vicenza Tax Center?
The best way to make an appointment is to call the Legal Assistance Office (DSN: 634-7316 or Commercial: 0444-71-7316) and schedule a time.  Tax services will be provided on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  We will do our best to accommodate walk-ins, but returns that are more complicated can be dropped off and then picked up when complete.  The following are examples of people who will need to make an appointment: taxpayers with rental property; those claiming the foreign income exclusion; capital gains; amending a prior year's return; self-employment income, itemizing deductions or if you received a letter from the IRS.

What resources are available for a person interested
The IRS Web site provides all the information you need to prepare your personal income taxes.

A few publications that are especially useful for USAREUR community members:
Pub 17, “Your Federal Income Tax”
Pub 3, “Armed Forces’ Guide”
Pub 54, “Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad”
If you need more help tracking down the necessary information, visit the Vicenza Tax Center.  In addition to assisting community members with filing taxes, community tax centers can assist eligible patrons with tax advice and understanding the tax code.

Do servicemembers and employees of the U.S. government stationed in Europe need to pay U.S. income tax?
U.S. servicemembers and other employees of the U.S. government must pay U.S. income tax, even if stationed overseas. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion does not apply to employees of the U.S. government.

What services are available at the Vicenza Tax Cente?
Vicenza tax center will "e-file" taxes for eligible community members. The tax centers are also a resource for people who prepare their own taxes. E-filers and legal assistance attorneys can provide personal income tax advice, publications and other reference materials, and review prepared returns.

What else should I know about the Vicenza Tax Cente?
Vicrnza tax centers are staffed by personnel trained and certified under the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.  The personnel are supervised by a legal assistance attorney and paralegal.

 What should I bring with me to the community tax center to get my taxes done?
At a minimum, all taxpayers must bring their DoD-issued ID card and official documentation of Social Security number, all W-2 forms received from employers, and if interested in electronic filing, a voided check.

Taxpayers must also bring appropriate documentation for relevant individual tax issues such as:

Form 1099 INT, DIV (interest statements)
Original Power of Attorney if filing for a spouse – this power of attorney must specifically authorize filing taxes; the power of attorney must have a notarized signature of the spouse not present; IRS Form 2848 is not authorized unless the spouse’s signature is properly notarized
Documentation of child care expenses paid last year
Documentation of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
Documentation supporting charitable contributions
Statement of interest expenses (mortgage, student loans)
Alimony information (copy of divorce or separation agreement)
Any other relevant financial information from the tax year, such as investment statements, rental reports, medical expenses, charitable contributions, or others.

Why do I need to bring my dependents’ Social Security cards to the community tax center?
Errors in Social Security numbers recorded on the tax forms are the most frequent reason for delays in processing tax returns. When the community tax center submits a tax return, the IRS compares the information on that return to what it has received from other sources, such as W-2s submitted by employers to the IRS or Social Security numbers reported by the Social Security Administration.  If that information does not match, the return is rejected by the IRS, causing a delay in processing. Community tax centers require tax filers to bring dependent Social Security cards to avoid these delays.

What do I do if my spouse is not available to sign the tax return?
If you are married and filing a joint return but your spouse is unavailable to sign the return, you need to get a power of attorney which explicitly grants authority for tax filing. This power of attorney must have the notarized signature of your spouse. IRS Form 2848 is not sufficient if the spouse’s signature is not notarized. If your spouse is deployed, the IRS grants an extension of 180 days from the spouse’s return from deployment to file taxes. For more information regarding deployed spouses and extensions on filing deadlines, consult your community tax center.

My spouse works on the local economy and pays taxes to the host nation. Do I need to report my spouse’s income on our return?
If your spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident and you are filing a joint return, you will need to report your spouse’s income on your tax return.  If you are filing separately, she would only need to file if the spouse earned more than $3,650. If the spouse must file, you may be able to exclude up to $91,400 of that income from your taxable income under the foreign earned income exclusion. 
If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen or resident, the spouse does not need to report her income. It may be to your advantage, however, to elect to treat your spouse as a U.S. resident so you can file a joint return.  Consult your tax center for an individual discussion of these issues.

If a retiree lives in a foreign country, can the retiree and their spouse’s Social Security be exempt?
No. U.S.-source income is never exempt from taxation simply because it is earned by someone living in a foreign country.


These explanations have been simplified and should only be used as a basis for further investigation regarding eligibility.  Please consult the Vicenza Tax Center for more information on eligibility and filing requirements.