The Fort Campbell Courier

Tax Center provides free filing service for Soldiers, Families

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:00 pm

As of Wednesday, the tax season for 2012 officially started. Filing can be a smooth process, but for some, a little challenging. The biggest problem this year will be waiting for forms to be processed by the IRS.

The Sgt. Brett T. Christian Tax Center, located at 2699 Kentucky Ave., between Burger King and Dryer Field House, opened Jan. 22 and has already processed more than 500 tax returns for Soldiers, Family members and retirees. Due to changes in the Army regulations, Department of Defense employees are no longer allowed to have their taxes filed at the center.

Annually, the tax center averages 10,000 federal and state tax returns. Last year, the center processed $18 million in refunds, and overall, saved filers more than $2 million in fees since it is a free service for the military.

The center schedules six appointments per half hour and six walk-ins per half hour. To help accommodate the needs of walk-ins, the center turns all morning and afternoon walk-ins into a same-day appointment.

The tax center does not have a limitation on the number of drop-offs received. In 2010, the center started an exclusive service that allows single Soldiers, or Soldiers who are married without dependents, to drop-off their returns, with all necessary information and a supplemental sheet, and pick them up the next day.

“It’s been a very successful service for those [who] have used it,” said Tom Loebl, volunteer site coordinator. “We haven’t had any complaints because they don’t have to sit in line.”

New changes concerning Social Security cards are in effect and are being upheld by the center. Because the military ID does not include Social Security numbers, as of 2011, all filers must have a Social Security card for everyone on the return.

Loebl said that if a card is not available, they can get a letter from the Social Security Office on 119 Center Pointe Drive, Clarksville, that will actually state the individuals’ name and Social Security number,” Loebl said.

“That is the most important thing that we have that is a change in policy by the IRS,” said Loebl.

Another tax change, due to the fiscal cliff debate, is forms from filers who receive education credits will not be processed by the IRS until March.

“Right now we are not able to do those tax refunds,” Loebl said. “Anyone who went to school, had out-of-pocket expenses, tuition assistance or the VA are just not being processed by the IRS.”

Despite the postponement concerning education credits, Loebl said that the electronic filing center is still accepting returns and that the returns are going to be a little delayed this year. Instead of the seven to 10 days, it’s going to be closer to three weeks.

Because the post tax center is an IRS-sponsored agency, they were able to process returns before Wednesday, unlike paid tax preparers who were not able to transmit the returns until Jan. 30.

“They don’t have the same luxury that we have,” said Loebl. “We [already] know we’ve got folks that have been accepted or rejected for whatever reason.”

The deadline to submit returns is April 15. The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturdays and DONSAs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information call (270) 798-1040. An explanation of services and forms is also available at the Tax Center’s Web site: www.campbell.army.mil/campbell/SJA/Pages/TaxCenter.aspx. Other general tax information is available at www.irs.gov.

The center encourages all military personnel to take advantage of the free tax preparation. “This is a quality free service available to those who qualify for legal services,” said Lt. William Boyd, legal assistant attorney.

“Please come in and get your taxes done.”

Editor’s note: This is the first story in a series about tax preparation assistance available at Fort Campbell.

 

Be prepared

Tax Preparation Checklist:

• Proof of identification (Photo ID);

• Social Security Cards for all members of the household or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration; or

• Individual Taxpayer Identification Number assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents;

• Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN;

• Birth dates for all members of the household;

• Wage and earning statement(s) from all employers;

• Interest and dividend statements from banks;

• A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available;

• Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check;

• Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number if appropriate;

• To file taxes electronically on a married, filing-jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

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