Cannon tax center keeps filers in the loop with returns

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- When it comes to doing annual income taxes, some people may feel overwhelmed by the numbers, forms and IRS regulations. 

Knowing that every situation is different, the legal services tax office at Cannon helps Airmen, Department of Defense employees and retirees make the best of what can often be confusing tax preparation. 

When Airmen bring their tax documents to the office, they can learn about their taxes, including how much might be owed or refunded, said Ms. Myra Barnum of the Cannon tax office. 

Whether filing a simple or more complicated return, the person feels more comfortable and is more prepared for next year because they have been educated in the process of filing their taxes, she said 

A team effort also ensures accuracy, according to Ms. Barnum. When Airmen are part of the process, they can verify that the reported information is correct. 

The team concept of Airman and tax assistant is important said Ms. Barnum because the person whose name is on the return is always the responsible party, not the person or company who completes the paperwork. 

Individuals affected by a disaster such as a hurricane or fire have tax needs beyond the scope of the Cannon office, but they can still receive resources and direction which will help them find the support they need. 

If someone needs to file a disaster return, it is important to find someone who is knowledgeable in that area said Ms. Barnum. The filer should ask the person or company how many disaster returns they have filed, their level of experience in this area and if they deal specifically with disaster tax returns. 

The same is true for those in the military who choose to hire someone to complete their income tax return said Ms. Barnum. The person or company hired should be familiar with military life and issues particular to taxes for military personnel. 

Occasionally a filer resists using a computer to file their return, even though the Internal Revenue Service does not want paper returns said Ms. Barnum, adding that returns filed electronically go directly into IRS computers. 

“Do you want your return entered by someone on a late Friday afternoon, or do you want to enter the information [yourself] and be in control of the return and confident that things are entered correctly?” she asked. 

Ms. Barnum stressed that it is much better to know what is going on with the return process, rather than have questions or concerns about what someone else did. 

The tax office is located inside the Legal Services building at 101 S. D.L. Ingram. 

To schedule an appointment, call the tax office at 784-7304. If there is no answer, leave a name, phone number and time to be reached. 

The Tax Center is not a drop-off office, so customers should be prepared for their appointment. When coming to an appointment, people should bring all applicable documents, including W-2s and powers of attorney if needed. 

Ms. Barnum encouraged people not to wait until the last minute to complete their tax return. The Federal deadline to file taxes is April 17.