Local VITA center offers tax help
Tax season comes once a year and tends to create stress for those who are unfamiliar with deductions, itemizing and filing for returns.
The Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) self-service tax center is here once again to ensure service members, civilian employees and their families receive the support they need to file their taxes correctly and on time.
“From our point of view, it’s important for junior Sailors to learn how to do their own taxes,” said VITA Representative Air-Traffic Controller 2nd Class Dylan Blackmar. “We are here to help them learn and understand the importance of filing their taxes on time”
The VITA center is self-service, which means customers will be given access to a computer with the necessary tax programs and will file their returns themselves.
According to VITA Representative Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launching and Recovery) 2nd Class Francois Kouwonou, the benefit of the selfservice model is that it allows customers to learn more about their taxes and how to prepare a return.
“We are here to assist them,” said Kouwonou. “But we want them to learn how to do this on their own.” According to the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps official blog, Sailors using a Navy tax assistance center will save money.
Commercial tax preparation companies can charge more than $170 for a typical electronically-filed return. There is no charge for VITA self-service tax preparation.
Additionally, access to free and quick filing at Navy tax centers provides an important money-saving alternative to costly refund anticipation loans offered by many commercial tax-preparation companies.
Blackmar said last year NAF Atsugi’s VITA center aided 79 service members, families and civilians and more than $165,000 in federal refunds and $20,000 in state refunds were disbursed.
With a team of volunteers, the VITA center is staffed and ready to provide any support customers may need.
The office will remain open through June 15 on an appointment basis only.
Customers can set up an appointment by calling 264-4015.
Customers will need to bring in a W-2, social security card, common access card, 1099 forms and any banking information regarding interest or capital gains and losses.