2011 tax filing season draws to close
Maj. Gen. James M. Milano is Fort Jackson's commanding general.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Tax season is here and if you have not yet filed your tax return, I urge you to place this task at the forefront of your duties. You have a little more than a week before the deadline arrives. I would also suggest that you take advantage of the tax preparation services that are offered on post. The Fort Jackson Tax Center, which regularly saves Soldiers money, is prepared for a last-minute surge from customers seeking assistance in filing their taxes.

Next week, the center will be open for an additional hour Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). And on Monday and Wednesday, the operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The tax center will close its doors April 18, which is the last day to file this year.

There are a number of great things to say about the tax service, but at the top of the list would be the savings passed to our military community members. In the past, the center has saved military members roughly $300,000 each year in tax preparation fees in assisting with the preparation of returns.

The latest numbers this year show that the Fort Jackson Tax Center has assisted more than 1,100 customers in filing their tax returns. These returns have generated more than $2.48 million in tax refunds and have saved our Fort Jackson community taxpayers $210,000 in tax preparation fees. The tax center has provided general assistance to more than 2,200 people.

I am sure you are aware that none of this could be accomplished, however, if it were not for a terrific cumulative effort put forth by the Soldiers and volunteers who staff the tax center. They are an outstanding group of individuals who are committed to the mission and the key to the center's success. They go the extra mile in accommodating Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training Soldiers, and working odd and extended hours each week.

This year, 10 Soldiers (and an officer-in-charge) have been assisting with tax preparation, along with three civilian volunteers to include a former commercial tax service employee, a retired certified public accountant and a University of South Carolina law student. In preparation costs alone, the tax center has saved Soldiers money, and we all appreciate their significant contribution to our Soldiers and families overall welfare.

Tax-filing time does not have to be stressful. I realize that whether a person anticipates a refund or thinks he or she might owe the government, the filing process itself can be somewhat intimidating because of the fear of making mistakes. Again, I'll re-emphasize that if you have not filed your taxes by now and are still wondering what to do or how to do it, get over to the tax center and get squared away.

You always have the option of filing an extension. The paperwork can be completed at the tax center in a matter of minutes and allows the Soldier, family member or retiree until Oct. 15 to file. This does not, however, relieve or extend one's obligation of paying his or her taxes on time. The tax center is located in Building 4330 on Magruder Avenue. If you have any questions, the phone number at the tax center is 751-JTAX.

Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!

Page last updated Thu April 7th, 2011 at 08:10