Free income tax preparation assistance for Soldiers and family members with taxable income of $66,000 or less will be available beginning Feb. 4, 2020, and ending April 15, 2020. Your military status determines where you can obtain help.

 

STATUS 1 – Single or married Active-Duty Service Members with Fort Drum Common access card and taxable family incomes of $66,000 or less, can use facilitated self-assist (FSA) computer stations to prepare their income tax returns, by appointment, at the Tax Advisory Facility. Soldiers will prepare their own federal and state income tax returns using free TaxSlayer software. Electronic filing also is free.

IRS trained and certified tax advisers will be present to teach Soldiers how to prepare their own returns. Do not be intimidated by the fear of doing your own tax returns! The tax advisers will guide you through every step of the process.

Location:  The Tax Advisory Facility is in Bldg. 455A on 4th Street M on South Post. (Driving directions: starting at the AAFES Ontario Express Complex at the corner of Ontario Avenue and Tigris River Valley Road, and travelling southeast on Tigris River Valley Road, take your second right onto Oswego Avenue. Then take your third left onto 4th Street M.  Bldg. 455A will be on your left side as you go down 4th Street M.)

Hours of Operation:  Feb. 4 through April 15, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed on federal holidays and days of no scheduled activity (DONSAs). 

To Schedule an Appointment:  Beginning on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, Soldiers may call (315) 774-1808 to schedule an appointment to use the facilitated self-assist (FSA) computer stations at the Tax Advisory Facility.

What to Bring to the Appointment:  See the heading “Preparation” below.

 

STATUS 2 – Gold Star Family Members with taxable incomes of $66,000 or less can get their income tax returns prepared, by appointment, at the Fort Drum Legal Assistance Office.

Location:  Room A2-68, Bldg. 10720, Clark Hall.

Hours of Operation:  Feb. 4 through April 15, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; closed on federal holidays and days of no scheduled activity (DONSAs).

To Schedule an Appointment:  Beginning on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, Gold Star family members may call the Legal Assistance Office at (315) 772-5261 to schedule an appointment.

What to Bring to the Appointment:  See the heading “Preparation” below.

 

STATUS 3 – FAMILY MEMBERS WITH DEPLOYED SPOUSES, SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBERS, AND RETIREES, WITH TAXABLE INCOMES OF $66,000 OR LESS, may be able to get their income tax returns prepared, by appointment, at the Fort Drum Legal Assistance Office, when resources are available. Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) and other legal emergencies will limit the availability of resources for tax return preparation. 

Location:  Room A2-68, Bldg. 10720, Clark Hall.

Hours of Operation:  Feb. 4 through April 15, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; closed on federal holidays and days of no scheduled activity (DONSAs).   

To Schedule an Appointment:  Beginning on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, family members with deployed spouses, surviving family members, and retirees may call the Legal Assistance appointment line at (315) 772-7545, starting at 1 p.m. each day, to see if tax appointments are available for the following business day.

What to Bring to the Appointment: See the heading “Preparation” below.

 

Exclusions (note that this is not an all-inclusive list)

Tax assistance is not available to taxpayers:

  • who do not have an Armed Forces Identification Card;

  • with taxable incomes in excess of $66,000;

  • who are engaged in any private business activities, except Family Child Care providers;

  • who own rental homes;

  • who have more than 10 stock transactions;

  • who have foreign income;

  • who have health savings accounts;

  • who have estimated tax penalties; or

  • who must file Schedule K-1 (partnerships).

     

Preparation

As you prepare to do your tax returns, you should gather the following documents: 

  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents;

  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents;

  • Your W-2 (usually available from your employer in mid to late January – for Soldiers, W-2s will be available at www.mypay.dfas.mil. Your LES is not sufficient);

  • Your bank account and routing number to receive your refund by direct deposit; and

  • If you are married and filing jointly, and one spouse will be absent at the time you plan to file your return, you will need a General or Special Power of Attorney (POA) that specifically covers filing taxes. You can get a POA at the Legal Assistance Office in Clark Hall on a walk-in basis from 8:30 a.m. through 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (the office is closed on federal holidays and DONSAs), or you can obtain IRS Form 2848 on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. (The IRS form can only be used for federal returns. If you will also be filing a state return, visit your state’s taxation department website for their particular POA form).

 

The following additional documents may be necessary depending on your circumstances:

  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents;

  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN;

  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R from all employers of all of your family members;

  • Interest and dividend statements from banks and brokers, including mortgage interest statements (Forms 1099);

  • Divorce decrees and receipts for alimony paid or received;

  • Child custody and support orders;

  • Receipts for IRA contributions;

  • Total paid to day care provider and the day care provider’s name, address, and tax identification number (the provider's Social Security number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number); and

  • Receipts and other supporting documentation if you plan to itemize your deductions in lieu of the standard deduction.

 

Do-It-Yourself Free File Software

Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File.  A dozen brand-name Free File partners, acting through the Free File Alliance, offer their software free to eligible taxpayers. Each partner sets its own criteria, but any taxpayer earning $66,000 or less will find one or more software products available. Some providers offer both free federal and state tax preparation, a seamless way to file taxes.  Active-duty military personnel with incomes of $66,000 or less may use any Free File software product of their choice without regard to the criteria.

For taxpayers who earned more than $66,000, there are Free File Fillable Forms available at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.

The fastest way to get a refund remains e-file and direct deposit. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, although some require additional time.

 

Additional information about free file software is available from the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.

Additionally, you may consult https://www.militaryonesource.mil/ for alternate free tax preparation materials. 

 

Need more information?

The IRS provides a wealth of information on their website at https://www.irs.gov/.

New York state tax information can be found at https://www.tax.ny.gov/.

You can also visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DrumTax/.