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Tax season: Know the changes before you file

By Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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Federal changes to the tax laws will come into effect for the 2019 tax season.

Some of these changes include lower tax rates, the doubling of the child tax credit from last year, the standard deduction being set to $12,000 per person and the invalidation of the personal exemption, according to Tom Fischer, 2nd Bomb Wing legal office base tax center site coordinator.

“Generally everyone should pay less taxes now. For instance, I personally ran the numbers for my income from last year’s [tax rates] verses the new rates and it is 20 percent less,” Fischer said. “I can’t say that for everybody, but generally it’s going to go down. However, as far as the refunds go that doesn’t mean they’re going to be bigger or smaller, but the tax liability will be less.”

According to the Internal Revenue Service publication 5307 (10-2018), “using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return.”

Through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, active duty, reservists and retirees have the opportunity to utilize tax preparation software at no cost to them at the base tax center.

“The Barksdale tax center is operated completely by volunteers,” said Capt. Morgan Hicks, base tax center officer in charge. “They are trained through a one-week course offered by Mr. Fischer through course materials provided by the IRS.”

The center is equipped to provide income tax preparation and electronic filing. However, it does not provide any tax assistance for businesses.

“It’s great to have this resource as an option during tax season,” Hicks said. “The well trained volunteers, staff that are there to help, and the convenient on base location, has the potential to give this stressful time of year some relief.”

Opening day is slated for Jan. 22, 2019 and will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday are reserved for walk-in slots while appointments are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the top of the hour. The base tax center can be reached at 318-456-4765. For more information about the tax reform, visit IRS.gov.