Tax season is quickly approaching and being stationed overseas does not exempt military personnel from filing a tax return.
W-2’s will come out for servicemembers on Jan. 22 and the Ramstein tax center will open Jan. 23 to assist servicemembers and their families in filing out the return.
For the 2008 Tax Season, the Ramstein Tax Center has increased the number of workstations from five to 10 and expanded its hours. New hours will be: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday; and
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
There are several things one can do to prepare while waiting for
W-2s to arrive.
1. Gather the necessary documents and information to file your taxes: (Note that not every tax payer will have all of the documents listed below.)
•The social security cards for you, your spouse and children
•All W-2 ‘s
•Any Forms 1099 you have received. For example: 1099-INT (Interest); 1099-DIV (Dividends and Distributions); 1099-G (Taxable Refunds of State and Local Income Taxes); 1099-MISC (Business Income); 1099-B, 1099-DIV, or 1099-S (Capital Gains or Losses); 1099-R (IRA Distributions/Pensions and Annuities); 1099-C (Income for the Discharge of Indebtedness); 1099-SSA or RRB (Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits.)
•Any Forms 1098 you have received. For example: 1098 (mortgage interest statements) (1098); 1098-T (tuition statements); 1098-E (student loan interest paid)
•Any Schedules K-1 (income from an estate or trust)
•Records of any income from gambling, awards, prizes or jury duty
•Records of any alimony received or paid
•Records of any rent or royalty property income
•Records of educational expenses
•IRA contribution information
•Dependent child care expenses (including name, address and EIN/SSN of provider)
•Your bank account number and routing number for direct deposit
•A copy of last year’s federal and state returns
2. Get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number for your spouse. If your spouse is not an American citizen, you can still file a joint return if your spouse has an. Your spouse can apply for an ITIN by filing a Form W-7, available with instructions on the Internal Revenue Service website at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf.
3. Be on the lookout for scams. The IRS has recently put out a warning about phony e-mails purporting to be from the IRS sent to U.S. citizens in Germany. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers, nor does it ask them for PIN numbers or passwords to credit card or bank accounts.
If you have questions about a letter or e-mail you have received from the IRS before the opening of the Tax Center, call the Ramstein Legal Office at 480-5911.
4. Consider becoming a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant. IRS-sponsored training for VITA’s will be Monday to Thursday. For details, contact Staff Sgt. Bobbie Lynn Sherman at email@example.com.
Look in future issues of the Kaiserslautern American for more tax updates and tax tips from the Ramstein Tax Center.