Filing for Freedom

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Miles Wilson
  • 94th Airlift Wing

Once again, the Filing for Freedom program has been brought to Dobbins in order to assist members with preparing and filing their taxes, free of charge.

The Filing for Freedom program is a partnership between the Department of Defense, the Internal Revenue Service, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (CPA), and the Atlanta Bar Community that provides pro bono tax services to service members and their families. At Dobbins, members are able to register and attend the program in order to sit with tax attorneys and experienced CPAs to both prepare and file taxes quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, in a way that maximizes their potential returns.

“This program allows for Airmen to get the benefits of a CPA done while they are here for UTA weekends in a way that is going to maximize the amounts of their refunds or reduce their tax liabilities,” said Kevin Startt, personal financial counselor with Airmen and Family Readiness. “This benefit also translates to the CPAs representing the Airmen in tax court, in the event that they are audited.”

All Dobbins Airmen, ranks E-1 to E8 have access to the Filing for Freedom program and are able to save money, minimize time and effort, and be confident that their taxes have been filed correctly and confidentially, and maybe even learn a bit more about how to file their taxes in the process.

Startt explained that there are Airmen who come in not knowing anything about their taxes, but during the process, discover they qualified for refunds they otherwise would have overlooked.

“We once had an Airman ask, ‘what do you mean by a refund?’, when they were told what they were entitled to,” he said. “You can imagine their surprise and joy when they were told that they were getting a refund.”

The process is simple and quick. After Airmen register, they show up to the program with their relevant tax documents and they sit down with a CPA who prepares their tax forms. Airmen should expect to bring their W-2 forms and any other forms that indicate their incomes, expenses, and deductions for the year. After their taxes are prepared, they sit with another CPA who reviews the prepared tax documents and double-checks for accuracy or additional benefits.

“The program is very convenient, accessible, seamless, and easy to use,” said Master Sgt. Robert Smith, Group Training Manager for the 94th Mission Support Group. “It was extremely quick. As long as you have a tax return that isn’t complicated, the service is free and there for us.”

The program will continue to be offered up until the April Unit Training Assembly at Dobbins, and further if some members require extensions.

Members can sign up by contacting Airmen and Family Readiness, located in building 838, or by calling 678-655-5004.