Tax season is quickly approaching, and being stationed overseas does not exempt you from filing a tax return.  
Active-duty W-2s come out Jan. 23, and the Ramstein Tax Center will open Jan. 26 to assist you in filing your return. The center will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays.

While you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your W-2, there are several things you can do to prepare to file your return:

1Start gathering the necessary documents and information you will need to file your taxe returns:

• The social security cards for you, your spouse and children
• All W-2s
• Any Forms 1099 you have received
• Any Forms 1098 you have received
• 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

2Get 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 ITIN.  Your spouse can apply for an ITIN by filing a Form W-7, available with instructions on the IRS Web site at,

3Be on the lookout for scams.

The IRS has put out a warning about phony e-mails purporting to be from the IRS that are being sent to U.S. citizens in Germany. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers, nor does it ask for PIN numbers or passwords to credit card or bank accounts. If you have any questions about a letter or e-mail you have received from the IRS before the opening of the Tax Center, do not hesitate to bring it to the Ramstein Legal Office during our normal legal assistance hours.

Keep reading the Kaiserslautern American for more tax updates and tax tips from the Ramstein Tax Center. The tax center is located at the Ramstein Law Center, Bldg. 2137.