FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The 2011 tax season is upon us and this year, because of a Washington holiday, taxpayers have until April 18 to file their taxes. Fort Jackson's Tax Center will open Monday to assist Soldiers, family members, and eligible retirees with their tax filing. There is no fee for using the Fort Jackson Tax Center.

The Fort Jackson Tax Center will be located at Building 4330 on Magruder Avenue. The operating hours for the Fort Jackson Tax Center will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Extended hours may be offered as needed. The Fort Jackson Tax Center is organized and certified by the Internal Revenue Service as a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Center. The staff is certified and trained by the IRS in filing taxes.

To help expedite the process, tax filers need to bring all supporting documents to their tax appointment. To accurately and completely file your taxes, you need to bring all your W-2 statements, any 1099 statements, and any other tax documentation necessary to support your return. If you do not bring all necessary documents, the staff at the Fort Jackson Tax Center will not be able to file your taxes.

If you are considering or planning to itemize deductions on your 2010 tax return, please be advised that the IRS has not finalized the forms necessary to do so. The IRS has stated the forms for itemized deductions should be available sometime in mid-to late February. Keep this in mind, because no tax preparer can assist taxpayers in itemizing deductions on a tax return until then.

If your combined household income is more than $100,000, if you need to file prior year tax returns or have other advanced tax issues, the Fort Jackson Tax Center may not be able to assist you. Please check with the Fort Jackson Tax Center to see if the staff can help you with your taxes if you fall into these categories. Advanced tax issues can be beyond the scope of any VITA center, including the Fort Jackson Tax Center.

A valid military identification card and all supporting tax documents must be presented when you come for an appointment at the Tax Center. The Fort Jackson Tax Center will not be able to assist customers without these items. Also be aware that you will need to have the supporting documentation to support the information to be entered on the tax return. The staff members at the Fort Jackson Tax Center are there to help you, but they cannot fill in information on a tax return without supporting documentation.

Before paying fees of $60 or more to a tax filing service, please see if the Fort Jackson Tax Center can assist. A visit to the Tax Center will save tax preparation fees and the center will electronically file taxes directly to the IRS. Call 751-JTAX for your appointment.