Taxation without exasperation: USAG Ansbach community prepares for tax season
February 6, 2014
ANSBACH, Germany (Feb. 5, 2014) -- 2013 has yet to end. Throughout the previous year checks were deposited, payments were made, fees were levied, expenses were incurred, donations were given, family statuses were changed. And though the federal government generally withholds taxes from paychecks, taxpayers must account for many financial transactions before they square the ledger with the Internal Revenue Service.
To help cut through the red tape and save community members money, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Legal Assistance Office, with support from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, established tax centers at Katterbach Kaserne and Storck Barracks. To celebrate the event, Deputy Garrison Commander Kevin Griess cut the ribbon at the Katterbach facility Jan. 31, 2014.
"Many of our Families are going to have a lot more fiscal challenges," said Griess to the tax center employees attending the ribbon-cutting. "So your knowledge of the complexities of that and the rules are going to save even more people money this year."
Last year the tax centers filed 2,687 returns, which saved USAG Ansbach community members $320,000 in preparation fees. They also helped community members attain more than $4.3 million in refunds.
Griess attributed the past and future successes to the partnership between the garrison and its major tenant unit, the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. The brigade offered Soldier support for the tax center. These Soldiers received training on tax preparation and will work outside their normal military occupational specialty during tax season.
"It is very great to have partnership between the community [and 12th CAB]," said Griess at the ribbon-cutting. "The majority of this couldn't be done without 12th CAB Soldiers. In fact, it wouldn't exist at all. I just talked to some Soldiers, [who are] mechanics, ammo specialists, and, after today, tax preparers."
The tax center at Storck Barracks is located in Room 213 on the second floor of Bldg. 6506, which is directly southwest of the commissary. The tax center at Katterbach Kaserne is in Room 310 on the third floor of Bldg. 5817, which is also the Army Community Service building. The tax centers are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Clients can make appointments from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The last walk-in is accepted at 4 p.m.
"We're going to be open on all training holidays and all federal holidays so people don't have to miss work," said Capt. Jessica Colsia, the officer in charge of the tax center. "Since we do close at the end of the duty day, we're going to take those extra opportunities to help people who can't get away."
Colsia asked that anyone wishing to do their taxes should bring their military ID and Social Security card.
"We have to have proof of who everybody is," said Colsia. "As far as what to bring, bring anything you think relates to money. We will help you sort it out."
Colsia's recommendation extends to documentation on rent as well as moving expenses if a family or individual is new to Germany.
"What a lot of people don't know is rental income stuff," said Colsia. "Bring any documents, or even if you just kept receipts or you wrote stuff down on what you spent on your rental property, we can help you claim that as well as unreimbursed moving expenses.
"If you travel from the states to Germany and had to pay a pet fee from the airline, you can claim that as a deduction," continued Colsia. "Unreimbursed moving expenses they consider part of your household goods."
Stateside Army tax centers generally only cater to Soldiers and their Families. In Europe, the U.S. Army also helps Department of Defense civilian workers with tax preparation.
To learn more, call 09802-83-1040 or DSN 467-1040 or call the tax center at Katterbach Kaserne at 09802-83-2324 or DSN 467-2324 or call the tax center at Storck Barracks at 09841-83-4511 or DSN 467-4511.