The holiday season has ended; now begins tax season


By Capt. Robert Duffie
Tax Center Officer in Charge
Stuttgart Law Center

The holiday season is over, which means tax season is right around the corner, and there are big changes to the Stuttgart Tax Center this year.

The Stuttgart Tax Center is opens on Jan. 28 and will be available to eligible individuals on a walk-in basis. The center will use a mixture of military and civilian certified tax preparers. Tax Center preparers are trained volunteers certified in Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Assistance.

The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns stateside is April 15, and the overseas extended deadline is mid-June. However, it is important to note that the extension to file is not an extension to pay. If you anticipate owing money to the IRS for tax year 2018, you must file your return by April 15 to avoid penalties. Contact us if you have a question about the extended deadline.

Those who anticipate an absence during the filing season and are married planning to file a joint return will need to execute a power of attorney authorizing their spouse to sign the return on their behalf. Powers of attorney can be completed at the Stuttgart Law Center, Bldg. 3312, second floor, Kelley Barracks on a walk-in basis during normal business hours.

Scope of Services:
Unfortunately, there are some restrictions on the services the office is authorized to provide.

The Army Tax Program has seen several years of budget cuts that have resulted in some changes to the scope of services provided by Army Tax Centers. This year, in accordance with the U.S. Army-Europe Tax Program and IRS VITA eligibility rules, the Stuttgart Tax Center will provide first-come, first-served, walk-in tax preparation services for eligible individuals (active duty service members and dependents, DoD/DA civilians and dependents, military retirees and dependents, and contractors with legal services privileges) with total gross incomes under $54,000. Generally, this will exclude most service members at the rank of E-7 and above—check your W2s and 1099s to see if you qualify.

Additionally, some complicated tax situations are outside the scope of the IRS VITA and USAREUR Tax Program, including:

  • Tax returns with gross income over $54,000. Gross income is all income before exclusions, adjustments, deductions, exemptions, and credits. Note for service members: Generally, only base pay is included in gross income. Contact the Tax Center with questions on what is and isn’t gross income;
  • Tax returns with more than five Form 8949 capital gain entries (including gains reported on IRS Form 1099-B);
  • Tax returns with more than one Schedule E rental property.
  • Returns with Schedule C self-employment income (exception: military family child care providers);
  • Tax returns taking the Form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit or Form 2555 Foreign Earned Income exclusion;
  • Tax returns taking Form 8833 Treaty positions; and
  • Tax returns using Form 2555 to exclude from U.S. taxation foreign income exempt from German taxation by the NATO SOFA and Supplementary Agreement.

Taxpayers not eligible for assistance at the Stuttgart Tax Center may self-prepare (see box) or consult with a commercial tax preparer.

Taxing questions?
The Stuttgart Tax Center is located in the Stuttgart Law Center, Bldg. 3312, second floor, Kelley Barracks. It will be open weekdays from 0900-1200, and 1300-1600. It will be closed on all U.S. federal holidays and USAREUR Training Holidays. No appointment is necessary.

Do-It-Yourself: Free tax preparation is available at and

What to Bring
In order to accurately prepare federal and state tax returns, all clients must bring:

  • All tax returns:
    • W-2s: wage income
    • 1099s: other income
    • Bank direct deposit information (account and routing number)
    • Both spouses present for joint returns OR one spouse present with a valid Power of Attorney (IRS rule)
    • Original Social Security cards (IRS rule, no copies)
    • Birth dates of all family members
    • Affordable Care Act coverage information for all family members
    • Prior year tax returns
  • Additional Documents For Homeowners:
    • Mortgage interest statement (Form 1098)
    • Real estate tax statement
    • Mortgage insurance statement
  • Additional Documents For Landlords:
    • Rental receipt information (1099-MISC)
    • Property manager statement of receipts and expenses
    • Mortgage interest statement (Form 1098)
    • Hazard insurance information
    • Prior year tax returns
    • Completed draft Schedule E (available at
    • Completed depreciation worksheet (available at Tax Center)
  • Additional Documents For Those With Income From Self-Employment:
    • Revenue and expense information (including government subsidies)
    • Completed draft Schedule C (available at
  • Additional Documents For Residents of Puerto Rico:
    • Prepare/file online Puerto Rico return before IRS return may be prepared

This column is not intended as individual or specific legal advice.  If you have specific issues or concerns, you should contact the Stuttgart Tax Center at 421-421-4588 or 0711-729-4588, or email