NEWS | Feb. 20, 2018

Voluntary income tax assistance, counseling available at JB Charleston for elderly

By Nicole Burkhart 628th ABW Legal Office

The Joint Base Charleston Tax Center will open a modified self-help Voluntary Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program beginning Feb. 15, 2018 for active duty servicemembers, their spouses and other cardholding family members. Additionally, assistance will be available to retirees, spouses and other cardholding family members who have a gross income of less than $75,000.

 

A VITA/TCE representative will be at the Airman and Family Readiness Center two days a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to assist with the self-help tax preparation through Military OneSource for active duty, dependents and recent (within last six months) retirees. IRS Free File will be the primary program used to facilitate tax preparation for those members who have been retired for longer than six months.

 

There will also be limited appointments beginning Feb. 14, 2018 at the Air Base and the Naval Weapons Station Legal Offices. Volunteer tax preparers will prepare returns for those with a gross income of less than $75,000 who are not able to use Military OneSource, who do not have access to a computer or the ability to file through other online providers, or who have other special needs requiring one-on-one assistance. Those appointments will be offered twice a week. For those wishing to use the self-service kiosks at the A&FRC, or need more detailed assistance, please contact the Air Base Legal Office at 843-963-7945 or the Naval Weapons Station Legal Office at 843-794-7500 for more information.

 

There are several options listed below for doing-it-yourself or having your taxes prepared by someone else. Unless there is a requirement to file a paper return, e-filing with the IRS is the preferred method. This will drastically speed up the turnaround time on getting the refund or the tax bill. This list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of Defense or any of its components.

 

IRS Free File – This service is available to those who are planning to e-file and have an income below $66,000 AGI. This service is at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.

 

TurboTax Absolute Zero – This service provides free online software for those who are planning to e-file both federal and state returns and have an AGI of less than $100,000.  It should be noted that those who are planning to itemize deductions, report 1099 or business income, or other complex situations will be directed to purchase software.  This service is at https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/online/free-edition.jsp.

 

H&R Block More Zero – Like TurboTax Absolute Zero, this program will provide free software for those who are planning to e-file. There is no AGI limit for this software; however, for those with more complicated returns, you will be directed to either purchase software or setup and appointment with an H&R Block representative. This service is at https://www.hrblock.com/offers/more-zero/.

 

Trident United Way Residents of Berkeley and Dorchester Counties who have an AGI of less than $95,000 for a married couple filing jointly or $65,000 for a single person can visit the Trident United Way’s website at www.tuw.org/freetaxes to seek assistance from a trained volunteer tax preparer at the Prosperity Centers.

 

Credit Karma This service is offered through an ad-supported website best known for providing users with credit score information. There is no income limit. https://www.creditkarma.com/tax.

 

Joint Base Charleston is not the only VITA/TCE center in the area. Others can be located by checking the website, https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers, or by calling 1-888-227-7669. Remember Tax Day is April 17 this year.  If you have questions, please call the Joint Base Legal Office at 843-963-7945.