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Avoiding Tax Return Preparer Fraud

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By Debbie Gregory.

It’s tax time again, and many Americans who are uncomfortable with doing their own tax returns will hire a third party to do them. While there are many legitimate professional tax preparers who have solid reputations, not all tax preparers have your best interests at heart.

For example, the “Go Navy Tax Service” company, which was deemed off limits by the Marine Corps and located near Marine Base Camp Pendleton in California.  It is alleged that this would lure young Marines with promises of free tax preparation and other perks and subject them to high-pressure sales tactics to get them to deposit their refunds into various financial products.

There are very limited requirements for any type of certification, training, registration, or competency testing for tax preparers.  Anyone who is paid to prepare or assist in preparing federal tax returns must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number but that is about it.

There are three areas to check out when looking into a someone to prepare your taxes.   They include how long the preparer has been doing taxes, how much experience they have, and how they are making their money by doing your return.

In addition to the above alleged tactic used by Go Navy Tax Service, other red flags include a return with creative deductions, or any fabricated information in order to increase the size of your refund, or a “cash only” payment policy. Be wary of anyone promising large refunds.

Do not under any circumstances sign a blank return or allow your refund to be deposited into any bank account other than your own. Always double-check the tax forms before signing them and mailing or e-filing them. You’re the one who has to answer if you are audited by the IRS, and you could be in serious trouble for providing fraudulent information. Double check both the routing number and the account number to make sure they are yours and the refund is not going to anyone else.

Of course everyone wants to receive the largest refund possible, but don’t let the promise of a big payoff keep you from doing a thorough check on your tax preparer.

Many military installations and numerous community locations offer free tax preparation assistance through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs.

For more military-specific resources, visit the IRS military page at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/military

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

 

 

Tax Preparation Resources for Military – Free & Discounted Services 

It seems tax season is here sooner each year   It can be more complicated for military families.   There are some filing preparation services available that are either discounted or free.  It is VAMBOA’s pleasure to bring them to your attention and make this task just a little easier and less stressful.

Assembling Your Documents – If you are prepared and have assembled the important and necessary documents to file, it will be much easier, quicker and less stressful.   Below is a list of what you need;

  • Photo ID/Military ID
  • Social security cards for you and each family member claimed on the return
  • Wage and earning statement(s), such as Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R – you can download from MyPay website here: https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx
  • Child care costs
  • Investment income forms
  • Receipts for charitable donations
  • Receipts for deductible expenses
  • Your bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Last year’s returns

We will begin with Online Tax Preparation Services that include:

  • TurboTax – offers discounts on software for active-duty military.   Servicemembers who are an E5 or below can obtain free federal and state filing with Free Edition or Deluxe.  There is also a $5 off discount available for Premier, Self-Employed and Turbo Tax Live federal products. Those with an E6 and above pay grade are eligible for a $5 discount or more on all TurboTax federal products.
  • TaxSlayer – has a military offer that allows active duty to file military to e-file a federal return for free.  State returns are additional.
  • IRS Free File Software – You can file your federal individual income tax return for free using tax-preparation-and-filing software.   If your income is below $66,000, it is free for federal and state return options. If your income is above $66,000 you can use Free File Fillable Forms.
  • Military OneSource – This is such a great resource in so many areas for those who serve.   They provide free tax preparation and e-filing software as well as easy access to tax consultants and free in-person preparation through approved Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices.  Their easy to use software, MilTax is designed for the military community too.

Military Installation Tax Centers – Many large military installations worldwide offer servicemembers and their families free income ta filing assistance via VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program which is sponsored by the IRS.  VITA volunteers are trained by the IRS to provide assistance with military specific tax issues that include combat-zone tax benefits and more.  They know their stuff when it comes to military taxes!

H&R BLOCK – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is joining forces with H&R BlOCK to offer military members and their families a 10% discount in select Exchange locations worldwide.  Please see a list of locations for CONUS and OCONUS at the bottom of this article.

https://bit.ly/2J6faU4

 

Installation

CONUS

State

Zip Code

Office Phone#

PATRICK AFB 1221 S PATRICK DR FL 32925 321-868-0285
MACDILL AFB Bldg 926, 3108 N BOUNDRY BLVD, Tampa FL 33621 813-840-1512
BOLLING AFB Washington DC, 20 MAC DILL BLVD DC 20032 202-729-3920
ANDREWS AFB JOINT BASE ANDREWS, BLDG 1683 MD 20762 301-568-2154
FORT MEADE FORT MEADE AB BLDG 2790 2790 MACARTHUR RD MD 20755 410-672-0271
FT LEE PETERSBURG, 300 A AVE BLDG 1605 MAIN PX VA 23801 804-518-3850
FORT BELVOIR FORT BELVOIR, 8651 JOHN J KINGMAN RD VA 22060 703-337-9001
HANSCOM AFB HANSCOM AFB 1709 EGLIN ST- BASE EXCHANGE MA 01731 781-264-2228
WEST POINT WEST POINT, 1204 STONY LONESOME ACCESS RD NY 10996 845-446-5187
JBDML AAFES MAIN EXCHANGE BLDG 3452 BROIDY RD NJ 08641 609-723-3604
FT HAMILTON BROOKLYN, 123 GENERAL LEE AVE NY 11252 718-748-4282
FORT DRUM MAIN PX BLDG P 10730 A, 10730 ENDURING FREEDOM DR NY 13602 315-681-4810
FORT BRAGG BLDG 42171 REILLY RD NC 28310 910-436-0108
FORT BRAGG BLDG 85050 BUTNER RD N POST PX BLDG NC 28310 910-436-0475
FORT BRAGG SOUTH POST PX, BLDG Z 3252 CANOPY LN NC 28310 910-493-0491
LANGLEY AFB LANGLEY AFB – 61 SPAATZ DRIVE, 61 SPAATZ DR VA 23665 757-865-1024
FORT EUSTIS FORT EUSTIS BLDG 1527 VA 23604 757-243-2245
FORT GORDON FORT GORDON EXCHANGE BLDG 38200 3RD AVE GA 30905 706-793-1956
HUNTER AAF SAVANNAH 171 HALEY AVE BLDG 1286 GA 31409 912-692-1163
FORT JACKSON FORT JACKSON BLDG 4712 LEE RD SC 29207 803-782-7430
CHARLESTON AFB CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, BLDG 1990 SC 29404 843-552-8881
FORT LEONARD WOOD 233 ILLINOIS AVE BLDG 498 MO 65473 573-329-5310
FORT SILL FORT SILL PX (IN THE FOOD COURT) 1718 MACOMB RD OK 73503 580-353-6347
FORT LEWIS FORT LEWIS MINI MALL WA 98433 253-964-2161
MCCHORD AFB MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, 6330 111TH ST SW WA 98438 253-581-0835
MCCHORD AFB FORT LEWIS-MCCHORD AFB, 41ST DIVISION DR AND A ST WA 98438 253-964-2488
FORT STEWART CONCESSION SHOP 112 VILSECK RD GA 31314 912-876-2224
FORT STEWART 345 LINDQUIST RD BLDG 71 GA 31315 912-877-3421
FORT BUCHANAN FORT BUCHANAN, BLDG 689 PR 00934 787-994-9384
LUKE AFB GLENDALE 7071 N 138TH AVE BLDG 1540 AZ 85307 623-979-3821
DAVIS MONTHAN AFB GLENDALE 5405 E GRANITE ST AZ 85707 520-514-9066
KIRTLAND AFB KIRTLAND AFB EXCHANGE, 8000 GIBSON BLVD BLD 20170 NM 87117 505-268-1222
FORT BLISS FORT BLISS 1 BLDG 1611 TX 79916 915-566-5639
FORT BLISS FORT BLISS 2 BLDG 13471 TX 79916 915-566-5758
TRAVIS AFB 461 SKYMASTER CIRCLE BLDG 650, PO BOX 1505 CA 94535 707-437-1448
MCCLELLAN ARMY AIR FORCE EXCH SERV AAFES, 5443 DUDLEY BLVD BLDG 911 CA 95652 916-921-1449
EDWARDS EDWARDS AFB 240 W FITZGERALD BLVD CA 93524 661-809-0676
HICKAM AFB HICKAM AFB, BXTRA BLG 1235 HI 96853 808-422-9098
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, BLDG 694-PX HI 96857 808-853-4725
FORT SHAFTER FORT SHAFTER BLDG 537 HI 96858 808-487-6079
FORT CARSON FORT CARSON EXCHANGE 1510 CHILES AVE CO 80913 719-576-2070
COLORADO SPRINGS AAFES-PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, 1030 E STEWART AVE BLDG 2017 CO 80914 719-596-3366
BUCKLEY AFB BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, 365 TELLURIDE BLVD CO 80011 303-341-4472
HILL AFB 5845 E AVE, BLDG 412 UT 84056 801-776-9655
MALMSTROM AFB 7200 PERIMETER RD, BLD 1340 MT 59402 406-727-3577
FAIRCHILD AFB FAFB BASE EXCHANGE, 101 W SPAATZ RD WA 99011 509-244-7006
EXCHANGE HQ 3911 S WALTON WALKER RD DALLAS TX 75236 214-339-1669
NASJRB FT WORTH FT. WORTH, 1880 MILITARY PKWY TX 76127 817-732-4759
FORT HOOD FORT HOOD, 4250 CLEAR CREEK RD TX 76544 254-526-0139
FORT HOOD FORT HOOD BLDG 136, 761ST AT TANK BATALLION AVE TX 76544 254-532-8651
FORT HOOD FORT HOOD #3 BLDG 52021 TANK DESTROYER BLVD TX 76544 254-616-1634
FORT HOOD 19TH STREET MALL BLDG 9401 BATTALION AVE TX 76544 254-532-1675
RANDOLPH AFB UNIVERSAL CITY, 630 3RD ST W BLDG 1068 TX 78148 210-566-6243
LACKLAND AFB LACKLAND AFB 2180 REESE ST BLDG 1285 TX 78236 210-670-2216
FORT SAM HOUSTON 2406 REYNOLDS RD BLDG 366 TX 78234 210-588-2921
FORT SAM HOUSTON MINI MALL, 3150 HARDEE RD BLDG 1387 TX 78234 210-444-0219
JBER 5800 WESTOVER AVE AK 99506 907-222-2978
FORT IRWIN 308A LANGFORD LAKE RD CA 92310 760-267-8757
NELLIS AFB NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, 5691 RICKENBACKER RD BLDG 431 NV 89191 702-309-2831
FORT BENNING FORT BENNING EXCHANGE, 9220 MARNE RD GA 31905 706-225-8830
MAXWELL AFB MONTGOMERY, 355 KELLY ST AL 36112 334-523-2866
KEESLER AFB AAFES, 506 LARCHER BLVD BLDG 2306 MS 39534 228-435-1335
BARKSDALE AFB BARKSDALE AFB, 455 CURTIS RD BLDG 4711 LA 71110 318-747-2883
FORT POLK FORT POLK, BLDG 850 – 7742 COLORADO AVE LA 71459 337-537-6355
EGLIN AFB EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE 1757 MEMORIAL TRAIL FL 32542 850-651-2254
TYNDAL AFB 108 OKLAHOMA BLDG 912 FL 32403 850-286-1415
ROBINS AFB BLDG 982 MACON ST, MAIN EXCHANGE LOBBY GA 31098 478-923-9501
WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB 2275 D ST, AREA BLD 16 OH 45433 937-639-3173
WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB 1250 CHESTNUT ST AREA A OH 45433 937-306-2100
OFFUTT A F B OFFUTT AFB EXCHANGE 106 MEYER AVE BLDG 166 NE 68113 402-292-1196
FORT RILEY FORT RILEY MILITARY BASE BLDG 2210 TROOPER DR KS 66442 785-717-2435
FORT LEAVENWORTH 330 KANSAS AVE, BLDG 700 KS 66027 913-364-2584
TINKER AFB TINKER EXCHANGE, 3360 N AVE BLDG 685 OK 73145 405-455-5178
FORT KNOX 127 GOLD VAULT RD KY 40121 502-799-0560
FORT CAMPBELL 2840 BASTOGNE AVE, LOCATED IN LEFT SIDE OF PX KY 42223 270-640-7510
LITTLE ROCK AFB 787 SIXTH ST LITTLE ROCK AR 72099 501-983-0001

OCONUS

Location Office Phone#
EU Baumholder Bldg. 8243 06783-9049003
EU Kleber Kaseme Bldg. 3231 0631-41456444
EU KMCC Bldg. 3336 0631-8020410
EU Stuttgart Panzer Mall Bldg. 2903 07031-6314800
EU Grafenwoehr Tower Barracks Bldg. 700 49173-5736112
EU Grafenwoehr Rose Barracks Bldg. 2203 49173-5736112
EU Vincenza Bldg. 305 Via Aldo Moro 0444-303327
EU Lakenheath Bldg. 1034 Bury St Edmunds 01638-533919
PAC Hickam 1232 Hickam CT 808-422-9098
PAC Schofield 694 McComack Rd 808-853-4725
PAC Ft Schafter 550 Pierce Rd 808-487-6079
PAC OKI Kadena Bldg. 412 036-868-2278
PAC OKI Foster Bldg. 1002 Foster 098-971-9307
PAC OSN Bldg. 965, Unit 2038 Osan Air Base 070-7597-0132
PAC Hump Bldg. P-4600 Room H101 Camp Humphreys 070-7727-6100
PAC Korea-Yongsan Yongsan Main Post S 2209 070-4186-6890

 

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