By Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Maj. Ryan Gear, Air Force Global Strike Command inter-continental ballistic missile nuclear surety requirements chief and certified tax center volunteer, discusses the filing process with an Airman at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 31, 2018. Airmen can visit the tax center to get their taxes prepared for free by a certified volunteer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)
The base tax center is open during tax season at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 31, 2018. The center opened Jan. 24 for base residents to file their taxes by a certified volunteer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)
Capt. Daniel Rust, 2nd Bomb Wing officer in charge of the tax center, studies to be a certified volunteer for the tax center at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 31, 2018. All volunteers must pass a volunteer assistance test to be certified to help Airmen and their families file their taxes with the IRS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)
The volunteer resource guide sits on a desk at the tax center at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Jan. 31, 2018. The tax center is run by volunteers. All volunteers are trained through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)
“Our goal is to provide a simple service for military families without them having to pay to have their taxes filed,” said Senior Airman Fatimah Robins, 2nd Bomb Wing Judge Advocate general law paralegal. “It is essentially free tax help for military families.”
Members must bring required documentation, such as W-2s, to make the filing process smoother. For information on required documents costumers can view Publication 3676-B on irs.gov.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program is an Internal Revenue Service initiative designed to support free tax preparation service. Without VITA, there would be no tax center on Barksdale. The program started more than 40 years ago and gradually became available on military installations. Barksdale initiated the tax center 35 years ago and is opens annually.
“People are definitely less stressed during the tax season knowing someone will help them with their taxes for free,” Robins said. “VITA preparers receive training through the Defense Department and the IRS on specific military situations like deployments or moving. Airmen have peace of mind knowing our guys are prepared to handle those types of situations.”