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Tax deadline approaches

(U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys)

(U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The April 17 deadline to file tax returns is upon us, but there's no reason to panic. The military offers a wide variety of sources that will allow members to meet this deadline.

Schriever Air Force Base has teamed up again this year with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which offers tax assistance to active duty, retired military and DEERS-enrolled dependents.

For many, tax season can be stressful. If a payment is more likely than a refund, there are options that can alleviate some of the stress of owing or not being able to pay. According to Military One Source more than 75 percent of taxpayers are eligible for an installment agreement and can apply using the web-based Online Payment Agreement application available at http://www.irs.gov. The best thing to do in any scenario is pay as much as you can before the deadline. If 90 percent of total tax due is not paid by the deadline, an Estimated Tax Penalty may get added in addition to a Failure to Pay penalty along with interest.

"If you can't complete and file your return by the April 17 deadline, you can request an extension of time to file, which automatically gives you an additional six months to file your return," said Jan Pardalis, 50th Space Wing tax program coordinator. "An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay; your balance is still due April 17, but you will avoid a failure-to-file penalty. In order to get an extension, you need to file Form 4868 with the IRS."

The Schriever Tax Center can also assist members in completing tax returns and claiming refunds for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Generally, if a taxpayer is due a refund for withholding or estimated taxes paid, it must be claimed within three years of the return due date (including extensions) or the taxpayer loses the right to that refund. The same rule applies to a right to claim a tax credit such as the Earned Income Credit. Penalties and interest do not apply in years in which a taxpayer is entitled to a refund.

In Addition Military OneSource provided by the Department of Defense offers free financial services to service members and their families. Along with information and tools related to money management, spouse employment and education, parenting, deployments and relocations; Military OneSource also provides free tax filing through H&R Block At Home. Both federal and state taxes can be e-filed with no hidden costs leaving members no excuse for being late to file.

Questions regarding military income tax benefits and requirements can be addressed to unit VITA representatives, or the Schriever Tax Center at 567-7020. The IRS web page at www.IRS.gov also has a wealth of information for military taxpayers including a question and answer section.

Unit VITA representatives:
Capt. Andrew Acer, Missile Defense Agency, 721-7185
1st Lt. Ronald Davies, 50th Operations Group, 567-2540
Staff Sgt. Dolly Frazier, 50th Force Support Squadron, 567-5394
Jin Suk Na Gould, 310th Space Wing, 567-6340
Alice Green, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, 567-2949
2nd Lt. Christopher Griffin, 17th Test Squadron, 567-5581
Capt. Leilani Kashiwabara, 4 SOPS, 567-5033
1st Lt. Mark Long, 4 SOPS, 567-5033
1st Lt. Matthew Maier, 4 SOPS, 567-4602
Staff Sgt. Shane Maloukis, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron, 567-2821
Jan Pardalis, 50th Space Wing Tax Center, 567-7020
1st Lt. Von Ramos, 3 SOPS, 567-2954
1st Lt. David Rogers, 1 SOPS, 567-5544
1st Lt. Kristina Stewart, 3 SOPS, 567-4694
Kim Wilson, 50th Operations Support Squadron, 567-4106
Tech. Sgt. Harold Wilson, 3 SOPS, 567-6067