Tax season, Winter Olympics and winter safety are here with the new year
Tax season is here again. The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Tax Center will open Jan. 31 for free tax preparation and e-filing services. While the filing deadline may be a couple of months away, this month taxpayers will begin to receive all the required documents to file taxes. Wage and earning statements (W-2s) for Soldiers should become available online at www.mypay.dfas.mil on or around Jan. 20.
To help make sure that your taxes are filed timely and accurately, keep in mind the following information:
Location and hours
The Tax Center is located on the second floor of Bldg. 1043 on Clay Kaserne (formerly the Tony Bass Fitness Center).
From Jan. 31 until Feb. 23, the Tax Center will operate on a walk-in basis only.
The hours of operation will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.; and Thursday 1 to 4 p.m. On these walk-in days, returns will not be started after 3 p.m.
The Tax Center will be observing the U.S. Army Europe training schedule and will be closed during the morning of Feb. 5 and all day on Feb. 16 and 19.
During these first three and a half weeks of operation, tax preparation services will be limited to individuals who are filing simple tax returns.
Simple tax returns are those that DO NOT include any of the following:
• 1099B or other non-1099DIV capital gain or loss;
• Residential rental properties;
• Self-employment or foreign earned income;
• Foreign income tax;
• Tax Treaty exclusion of pension or SSA income from U.S. taxability;
• Amendment of current or prior year federal or state return;
• Puerto Rico tax filing requirement.
If a return includes any of the items listed above, it is not a simple return and cannot be completed as a walk-in. You will need to make an appointment.
Beginning Feb. 20, all individuals can call the Tax Center to make an appointment to have their taxes completed. Starting Feb. 26, tax returns will be prepared by appointment only on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. and on Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Tax Center will be closed during all federal holidays and USAREUR training days.
Wednesday will remain a walk-in day for simple returns only. The hours of operation on Wednesdays will be 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. As before, on walk-in days, returns will not be started after 3 p.m.
The Wiesbaden Tax Center will close April 17.
Limitations on returns
The Tax Center’s authority to assist individuals with preparing their tax returns is limited by both the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program rules and Army Regulation 27-3. This means that the Tax Center cannot prepare returns for individuals that have more than one residential rental property, that need to report the sale of residential rental property, have more than 5 transactions that need to be listed on the IRS Form 8949 “Sales and Other dispositions of Capital Assets” (this includes things like the sale of stock), or are required to file a Schedule C because they are self-employed or run a business, unless they are an Army approved family childcare (FCC) provider. Other issues may arise during the preparation of the return which could cause it to fall outside the scope of services allowed by VITA or AR 27-3. Those issues will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Military retirees overseas
Given the unique tax issues facing our military retirees living in Germany, namely the proper tax treatment of Social Security payments received while living in Germany, and the 2nd floor location of our current Tax Center, we are asking military retirees that do not have NATO SOFA status to call and make an appointment with our Legal Assistance Office to have their taxes prepared. Our retirees can stop by or begin calling our office at (0611)143-537-0664 on Feb. 20 to make an appointment. The Legal Assistance Office is located on the ground floor of Bldg. 1023N, next to the food court.
DOD ID cardholders, including Soldiers, Family members, Department of Defense civilians and retirees who wish to use the free tax preparation and e-filing services need to have all of their documents ready when they meet with preparers. These documents include:
• DOD ID Card
• 1099 and 1098 forms
• Social Security card (self, spouse, dependents)
• Individual Tax Identification Number card/letter (for foreign spouses)
• Copies of prior year’s tax returns
• Bank account information with routing and account number if e-filing (blank check)
• Power of attorney if married filing jointly and spouse is not present
PLEASE NOTE: It is extremely important to bring in copies of prior year returns and Social Security cards.
Customers who do not have the required documents will be turned away. Our preparers cannot begin a return without them.
United States citizens working overseas are still legal residents of one of the fifty states or U.S. territories. You may or may not need to file a state income tax return based on your residency. The Tax Center can help you file your state returns as well.
Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense funded program that provides comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve component members, their Families and survivors.
Each year from mid-January to mid-October, Military OneSource provides a free tax service called MilTax. MilTax has easy-to-use software designed for the military community and tailored to military life.
Calculations have a 100 percent accuracy guarantee. In addition to the software, MilTax consultants are available to help. All eligible service members are encouraged to use this program. Find more information at www.militaryonesource.mil/miltax-free-tax-services.
For more information on any of these topics, please contact the Tax Center:
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. and Thursday 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Second floor of Bldg. 1043 on Clay Kaserne
Phone Number: (0611)143-537-0690