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PAFB Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax return help

Mr. Don Winterich, director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, and Lt. Col. Jennifer Cline, 45th Staff Judge Advocate, welcome Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 45th Space Wing commander, to the Tax Center Feb. 3, 2012. VITA provides free income tax return preparation for all Active Duty, Reserve, and Retired Military and Civilian Personnel of the Patrick AFB community, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., inside the south entrance of the Shark Center. Appointments can be made by calling (321) 494-4718; leave a name and phone number on the answering service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

Mr. Don Winterich, director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, and Lt. Col. Jennifer Cline, 45th Staff Judge Advocate, welcome Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 45th Space Wing commander, to the Tax Center Feb. 3, 2012. VITA provides free income tax return preparation for all Active Duty, Reserve, and Retired Military and Civilian Personnel of the Patrick AFB community, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., inside the south entrance of the Shark Center. Appointments can be made by calling (321) 494-4718; leave a name and phone number on the answering service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The PAFB Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program on Feb. 1 began providing free income tax return preparation for all Active Duty, Reserve, and Retired Military and civilian personnel of the Patrick AFB community.

The PAFB VITA Program is sponsored by the PAFB Legal Office and Project Emeritus. This service is provided by volunteer Tax Counselors who have been trained and certified by the IRS. Last tax season, the program filed nearly 1,200 returns with the IRS, saving Airmen and retirees more than $230,000 in tax preparation fees.

The service is provided at the Shark Center, located adjacent to the Chapel in the South Patrick Housing complex (Pelican Coast). The Shark Center is on Harrier Avenue and can be accessed from South Patrick Drive or SR A1A via Shearwater Parkway (the fourth traffic signal south of Pineda Causeway). The Shark Center is just north of the South Patrick Chapel, and the entrance to the VITA office is on the south side of the Shark Center.

In order for your VITA Tax Counselor to prepare your return, the following documentation is required: picture ID; Social Security cards (or Military ID with Social Security number) for taxpayer, spouse and all dependents listed on the tax return; income statements for wages, interest, dividends, pensions, social security, and other income (W-2s, and 1099s); expense statements to itemize deductions; a copy of last year's Tax Return (if available); and the account number and routing number if Direct Deposit of refunds (or to debit payment of any taxes due) is desired.

The tax return preparation assistance service is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 494-4718. Simply leave your name and phone number on the answering machine and someone will return your call.