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Offutt legal center offers tax assistance

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- While you were out this holiday season searching for the perfect holiday gift, it's possible you may have forgotten about something you'll need after the holidays - your important tax documents.

That's right, tax season is rapidly approaching and since the holiday season is now behind us, why not search for those documents required to file your taxes completely and correctly? Once you've found them, your Offutt legal team is here to help you sort through your past year's finances and properly file your income tax return.

Trained tax advisors at the Staff Judge Advocate's office can assist you in filling out your tax forms. These advisors will also electronically file federal returns for all active-duty and retired military personnel and their family members, as well as Reserve and National Guard personnel on active-duty orders. All of this tax assistance is absolutely free.

Tax center service hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, from Feb. 1 through April 16. Feb. 1 and 2 are reserved for walk-in 1040EZ filers only from 8 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Appointments for all other filers will be taken beginning Tuesday. The tax center is located in the basement of the Offutt Law Center, 711 Nelson Drive.

All 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040 forms we assist in preparing will be accepted for electronic filing. Based on the complexity of the individual tax return, some returns may not be able to be filed at the tax center. Additionally, we will be e-filing state income tax returns this year.

If electronically filing a joint tax return, both spouses must be present. Spouses of deployed personnel may file on behalf of their spouse with a signed Form 2848 (IRS Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative). This form is available at the tax center or online at www.irs.gov.

To make an appointment for preparation of your tax forms or to electronically file your already completed forms, call the tax center at 294-3759.

To electronically file a tax return, the following information is needed:
-- Military identification cards
-- Birthdates for all people who appear on the return
-- If filing joint, both members must be here or one can return later to sign (Will not e-file until both sign)
-- If one spouse is deployed, need IRS form 2848 or power of attorney
-- W2s, w2-G, etc.
-- All social security cards, including children (original, a photo copy or last year's return with SSN, ITIN, or ATIN)
-- Copy of last year's tax return
-- Bank information with routing & account numbers
-- Charitable contributions
-- Child care expenses (Must include name of provider, address & tax ID)
-- 1099s (If you had interest, dividends or capital gains)
-- If sold stocks or mutual funds, need cost basis for shares sold
-- 1098Ts (If you had education expenses)
-- If had student loan, need document showing interest paid
-- If you own your home: the mortgage interest, real estate taxes paid and other pertinent documents.
-- If purchased home last year, bring in closing cost paperwork to write off some of the costs
-- Any other documentation for income or deductions not mentioned above