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Tax season begins

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Last year's W-2s, receipts and 1099 Forms -- these are the signs that the most important season is upon us: tax season.

Taxpayers have until April 15 to file their 2013 tax returns and pay any dues. For Schriever active-duty and retired service members and their dependents, there is free assistance available for their tax needs. The base tax program is run in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

"The Schriever tax program saved Airmen more than $49,000 in preparation fees for their 2012 taxes," said Betty Sansone, 50th Space Wing Judge Advocate legal technician. "With the support of the VITA representatives, we expect that we will reach or exceed last year goal."

In order to assist in calculating taxes and preparing returns, volunteers received Volunteer Standard of Conducts, Advanced Examination for 2013 and 2013 Military Exam certificates. Unit VITA volunteers may assist with state tax returns within their scope of experience and training.

"I think the VITA program is awesome because we obtain knowledge not only for us but for other people as well," said Master Sgt. Tawanna Sellars, 50th Space Wing Safety office. "Tax laws can change every year so you have to get the most up-to-date information. Additionally, I like helping people and this is one way to do it."

Senior Airman Michael Power, 50th Comptroller Squadron, echoed the sentiment. He said the free assistance program is great for both the volunteers and customers.

"Not only does it train the volunteers to be self-sufficient in filing basic and average taxes, it also extends out to the individuals receiving the assistance," Power said. "It could teach them about how they can file their taxes on their own later, by remembering the questions they are asked when filing."

He said VITA representatives can provide accurate and fast results due to their training.

"It's important because it's easily accessible, and we can help identify items that can be used for deductions or credits that an online program may not be able to capture," Power said.

Individuals who are interested in using the tax assistance program need to bring their social security cards for all claimed exemptions, all W-2 Forms, all 1099 Forms, mortgage interest statements, child care provider information, IRA contributions, sale of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to include cost basis, alimony paid or received, receipts for charitable contributions, court orders or IRS Form 8332 for child custody dependent determination and power of attorney if filing for your spouse.

The service is not available to individuals with more advanced needs than what the VITA reps training covered, such as members with a private business with expenses of more than $5,000 and/or a net loss, more than one rental property, complex Schedule Ds or other advanced needs.

For more tax information, visit http://www.irs.gov or call a VITA representative to make an appointment for tax assistance.

Schriever tenant and Reserve unit VITA reps:
Master Sgt. Kellie Lindemann, 310th Space Wing, 567-7570
Tech. Sgt. Shane Maloukis, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron, 567-2818

50th Network Operations Group VITA reps:
Tech. Sgt. Meghan Murray, 50th Space Communications Squadron, 567-6173
Tech. Sgt. Scott Nicholson, 50 SCS, 567-4393
Frances Roberts, 50 SCS, 567-2665
Jeffrey Higgins, 22nd Space Operations Squadron, 567-2988

50th Operations Group VITA reps:
1st Lt. Alexander Fiore, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, 567-3891
Tech. Sgt. Gaston Lara, 1st Space Operations Squadron, 567-2324
Kimberly Wilson, 50th Operations Support Squadron, 567-4106
Capt. Eric Zosso, 50 OSS, 567-6411
2nd Lt. Christopher Vella, 17th Test Squadron, 567-5196

50th Mission Support Group VITA reps:
2nd Lt. Peter Forde, 50th Contracting Squadron, 567-7008
2nd Lt. Thomas Ishmael, 50 CONS, 567-3807
Master Sgt. Jerami Mahaffey, 50 CONS, 567-5948

50th Wing Staff VITA reps:
1st Lt. Brenton Glaus, 50th Space Wing, 567-3440
2nd Lt. Eric Phillips, 50 SW, 567-4004
Staff Sgt. Eleazar Herevia, 50th Comptroller Squadron, 567-5126
Senior Airman Michael Power, 50 CPTS, 567-5125
Staff Sgt. Dolly Frazer, 50th Force Support Squadron, 567-5158
Master Sgt. Tawanna Sellars, 50 SW, 567-2847
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