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Tax center continues to provide assistance

Gail Evelyn, tax preparer at the Tax Center, helps CW2 Ralph Hernandez, from Fort Hood, Texas, and his wife, Brittany, with their tax return at the Fort Rucker Tax Center March 7. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Gail Evelyn, tax preparer at the Tax Center, helps CW2 Ralph Hernandez, from Fort Hood, Texas, and his wife, Brittany, with their tax return at the Fort Rucker Tax Center March 7. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: March 14, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 14, 2014) -- With the end of tax season approaching, some people might need all the help they can get to get their returns in on time, and the Fort Rucker Tax Center is making it even easier for single Soldiers to file their taxes for free.

The tax center, located in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 371F, offers free tax services to active-duty Soldiers, retirees and Family members, and now offers a new drop-off system to expedite returns for single Soldiers, said Tod Clayton, volunteer income tax assistant coordinator at the tax center.

“Single Soldiers can now drop off their W-2s, and interest and dividend forms with us at any time during business hours, and in 48 hours they can come back between 9-11 a.m. to go over their return,” said Clayton. “We’ll go over everything with them, get it ready to e-file and give them all their documents.”

The new service is meant to alleviate already scarce appointment times in order to serve as many Soldiers, retirees and Family members as possible.

“It takes less time to file single Soldiers’ returns, so we won’t have to tie up an entire appointment (slot) since we are so limited this year,” said the tax coordinator. “Typically I can do a single Soldier’s simple return in 15 minutes, so there’s no point in taking up an entire one-hour slot for that, which can be better used to file more complicated returns for Soldiers who may have Families.”

Currently, Clayton said tax appointments with him are booked up to April 10, and with April 15 as the deadline to file, spots are filling up fast.

“We’re trying to do as much as we can with the resources we have, and that’s why we’ve decided to start offering this service,” he said.

The center is open Mondays-Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through April 15. Assistance is available by appointment only, and is designed to make the lives of military personnel a little easier by saving them a little money. People must have a valid military ID in order to take advantage of the services provided at the Tax Center, and Soldiers on Reserve status must be on Title-10 orders and bring their call-to-active-duty orders in order to use the center.

The tax service is free to all those who are eligible, and with typical returns costing between $75-150, Clayton said it’s a good way for people to save money. Both federal and state returns can be handled at the tax center at no charge, he added.

“People should use a professional when filing taxes because they may miss some credits or deductions that they might be entitled to,” said Clayton.  “The service here is free and we’re all trained by the [Internal Revenue Service] in certain aspects that deal with military personnel, so that’s another advantage that people will have.”

When visiting the tax center, people should remember to bring all tax forms, including all valid military ID cards; Social Security cards; all W-2s and wage and earning statements; 1099-R for pensions and retirements; 1098 for interest statements regarding tuitions, student loans, mortgages, etc.; a copy of the previous year’s return if available; power of attorney papers if available; 1099-G forms for gambling winnings, unemployment compensations, etc.; and 1099-MISC for payments received for non-employment compensation.

People should also bring their bank routing numbers as well as their account numbers if they wish to have their returns deposited directly into their bank accounts, which can be found on a check tied to the specific account they wish to use.

Although the tax center is an invaluable resource to people on the installation, the facility is limited in the services it can provide. The center can’t provide services for businesses or more than one rental property, but most simple tax returns shouldn’t be a problem, said Clayton.

“Every tax situation is different and we look at each individual tax situation separately,” he said. “If people feel they can do it themselves that’s fine, but there is no harm in coming by and having us take a look, especially since it’s free.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 255-2937 or 255-2938.

This article was originally published at

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