Important changes to tax services
Due to diminishing resources, loss of expertise in the footprint, regulatory constraints on borrowed military manpower, and the increasing complexity of returns, free face-to-face tax preparation and filing services will no longer be available on post at any location in U.S. Army Europe.
Soldiers, civilian employees and retirees will need to find alternative tax preparation and filing services.
Tax preparation sources
All Soldiers are strongly encouraged to use Military OneSource to prepare their taxes.
Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense funded program that is both a call center and a website providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Component members, their families and survivors. Each year from mid-January to mid-October, Military OneSource provides a free tax service called MilTax. MilTax has easy-to-use software that is designed specifically for the military community and tailored to military life - addressing scenarios including multiple moves, deployments and more. Filers can work anytime, anywhere, at their own pace. Plus, calculations have a 100 percent accuracy guarantee. In addition to the software, MilTax consultants are available to help military members and their families take command of their taxes and be the best guardian of their finances and families.
Military OneSource also offers practical articles and guidelines on what is needed to file a successful return. For more information, visit www.militaryonesource.mil/miltax-free-tax-services.
Individuals who are not eligible to use MilTax can use the free filing services provided by the IRS. For more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.
Those who do not qualify for free filing will have to purchase a commercial tax preparation software or hire a commercial preparer to file their taxes.
The IRS maintains a list of Certified Acceptance Agents in Germany that may be able to assist in filing returns. This list is located at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/acceptance-agents-germany.
Documents needed to file taxes
When using any tax preparation software or service you will need to have certain documents available. The most important documents to have ready are last year's tax return and this year's W-2s.
Filers will also need the following:
- Social Security Card/SSNs for all persons claimed on the tax return
- Real estate tax documents including mortgage interest statements (Form 1098)
- Alimony, child support or related payment agreements
- Investment tax documents (Form 1099)
- Any documented income from rental properties
- Records of moving expenses related to a new military assignment, retirement, separation, etc.
- Receipts/documentation for deductibles
- Child and dependent care information
For those using software, it's likely they will need the prior year return to set up an account. The prior year's return can also be used to check the current return. Make sure to include all bank and interest bearing accounts, student loan interest, child care expenses, etc.
Advice and assistance for certain issues
Although the Wiesbaden Legal Office will no longer provide tax preparation services, it will continue to provide advice and assistance on certain tax issues, such as reviewing letters from the IRS or state tax authorities, as part of legal assistance. For those types of issues, please contact the Legal Assistance Office to make an appointment.