The Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL) VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Tax Center has been assisting local military families in filing their 2017 federal tax returns for just over six weeks, and so far they have processed over $720,000, which is roughly 60 percent of the goal they set at the beginning of tax season.
Jim Maciel, the site coordinator and recent recipient of the Meritorious Public Service Award for his work with VITA, says that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the new withholding calculator that reflects the changes that were made following the congressional passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December of 2017.
Some of the changes that were made in the passage of this most recent tax bill include increasing standard deductions significantly, currently from $6,350 and $12,700 for individual and joint filers respectively, to $12,000 and $24,000. The value of some deductions will be curtailed, making itemization less attractive. More filers will find it beneficial to use the standard deductions, simplifying the tax return process.
“Some people are going to be pleasantly surprised by how the tax bill changes affect them, and others are going to feel completely the opposite,” said Maciel.
Maciel recommends visiting the IRS website at irs.gov to see how the new changes may affect you and whether you should change your withholding status on your Tax Form W-4, to avoid potentially owing money when you file your return.
According to the IRS website, the following groups should check their withholdings:
- Two-income families.
- People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
- People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
- People who itemized deductions in 2017.
- People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.
The VITA Tax Center is a completely volunteer run organization, designed to help process federal and state tax returns for the military community. VITA volunteers are trained before tax season, and Maciel says it’s a great way to use volunteer work to build a resume for a future career.
VITA Tax Center volunteer and Navy spouse Stefie Shen has recently acquired a position as a staff accountant intern at M.Green & Company, LLP in Hanford.
The VITA Tax Center will be looking for more volunteers this fall.