WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will once again offer free tax preparation for active-duty, military retirees and their families throughout February at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center in Building 70, Door 6, Area A.

The first week of February is scheduled to be a soft-opening with walks-in welcomed for Airmen E-4 and below only, according to Capt Brian Eiselman, WPAFB VITA Site Coordinator. Beginning Feb. 4, eligible taxpayers can begin calling 937-656-1423 to schedule a 90-minute timeslot. The VITA office is scheduled to be open through the tax season with appointments for each month becoming available in the last week of the prior month. The final closing date will be April 15.

To make the most of limited appointment times, and due to the continued popularity of the program, Eiselman says the office’s focus this year will be geared to helping as many as possible complete simpler returns.

“In the past, we’ve had more people wanting to utilize the service than appointment slots available. This year, we are helping the folks who have their documentation ready and only need to file a return as opposed to providing extensive tax advice,” Eiselman said.

To make the most of their visit, Eiselman recommends taxpayers open all of their tax documentation at home and organize their paperwork prior to their appointment. Common documents taxpayers should bring with them are:

– Valid Forms of photo identification (Passport, Driver’s License)

– Social Security cards

– Last year’s tax returns

– W-2 statements from all employers

– Documentation for any other income, such as rentals

– Form 1099s

– Mortgage statements

– End of year statements for things like childcare, education, benefits, etc.

– Any other documentation for possible itemizing or deductions

While there are a myriad of paid online and in-person tax filing solutions available, Eiselman said that for eligible taxpayers, VITA is not only a great solution, it’s one that’s been paid for through commitment to duty.

“They’ve earned it. Active duty service members and retirees have earned this service and it’s one we’re happy to provide free of charge,” Eiselman said. “Every one of our volunteers is certified to prepare these kind of basic returns and we’ll do our best to help you out.”

Wright-Patt’s VITA program is staffed by a team of 20 volunteers trained to provide general tax filing services for both federal and state returns. About half of the volunteers are retirees and the other half are active-duty members and spouses.

“We owe a lot to them. Without our retiree members who have been doing this for years, there’s no way to sustain this program,” Eiselman said. “I think it’s a great program to assist people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford such services; one I think is important for the base and for the community.”

Besides Wright-Patterson’s VITA program, there are others available locally. Taxpayers can search for VITA programs by visiting https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers.

Additionally, service members and their dependents can also file their taxes for free using MilitaryOne Source at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/financial-legal/tax-resource-center. Check with MilitaryOne Source for complete eligibility terms.

To make a tax filing appointment at Wright-Patterson’s VITA office, call 937-656-1423 after Feb. 4.