Your tax questions answered

Due Date of Return
This year, taxpayers have until April 18, instead of April 15, to file their tax returns. Taxpayers get extra time because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia — even if you do not live in the District of Columbia.

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their 2010 tax returns. The IRS advises taxpayers impacted by the recent tax law changes that using e-file is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.

Who Must Wait To File?
For most taxpayers, the 2011 tax filing season starts on schedule. However, due to recent tax law changes, some people, including those who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A, will need to wait until mid to late February to file their tax returns in order to give the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems. Those who need to wait to file their tax return include:

» Taxpayers claiming Itemized Deductions on Schedule A
» Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction
» Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the recent tax law changes. In the interim, taxpayers affected by these tax law changes can start working on their tax returns, but they should not submit their returns until IRS systems are ready to process the new tax law changes.

For taxpayers who must wait before filing, the delay affects both paper filers and electronic filers. The IRS urges taxpayers to use e-file instead of paper tax forms to minimize confusion over the recent tax law changes and ensure accurate tax returns.

Do I need to pay tax if I live in Europe?
States can require their residents and/or domiciliaries to pay income tax. A state has the authority to tax domiciliaries of that state, even if the domiciliary does not currently live in that state any longer due to military assignment. Each state’s law is different, so to be sure you are complying with applicable state law, stop by your community tax center and inquire about the rules for your state of domicile.

What services are available at the tax centers?
Community tax centers will e-file taxes for eligible community members. The tax centers are also a resource for people who prepare their own taxes.

E-filers and legal assistance attorneys can provide personal income tax advice, publications and other reference materials and review prepared returns.

Community tax centers are staffed by personnel trained and certified under the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The personnel are supervised by a legal assistance attorney and paralegal.

What should I bring with me?
All taxpayers must bring their DOD-issued ID card and official documentation of Social Security number, all W-2 forms received from employers and, if interested in electronic filing, a voided check. 

Taxpayers must also bring appropriate documentation for relevant individual tax issues, such as:

» Form 1099 INT, DIV (interest statements)
» Original power of attorney, if filing for a spouse
» Documentation of child care expenses paid last year
» Documentation of Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
» Documentation supporting charitable contributions
» Statement of interest expenses (mortgage, student loans)
» Alimony information (copy of divorce or separation agreement)
» Other relevant financial information from the tax year (e.g., investment statements, rental reports, medical expenses, charitable contributions, etc.)

To see the full version of this story, visit the KA website at www.

(Prepared by the USAREUR Office of the Judge Advocate)