Joint base tax centers help filers in military community
January 25, 2013
The tax man's coming, and two centers on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall stand ready to help active duty service members, retirees and Family members electronically file their taxes free of charge.
The tax center at Henderson Hall is located in Room 105 of Bldg. 29 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
"We are not authorized to file with the IRS until the 30th, nobody is," stressed Fran Rojo, Bldg. 29 tax center coordinator.
Meanwhile, a grand opening ceremony will be held Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. for the tax center in Bldg. 406 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base. Capt. Michael Colucci, a legal assistance attorney on JBM-HH, is heading up the tax center on Fort Myer. He said in addition to the free electronic tax filing service both centers provide, there's another good reason for service members and their families to have their taxes done at the facility, which is also open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
"There are a lot of military specific things that a professional tax preparer might not catch," he explained. "Additionally, you have Soldiers doing your taxes who are taking care of you, so those Soldiers are going to be able to spot the issues; they're going to be able to relate it to things they've experienced with doing their own tax returns."
Representatives from both tax centers say filers should bring a military ID card, a cancelled or voided check, all W-2s, 1099s and 1098 forms, social security numbers for all Family members, documentation from day care providers, documents supporting all deductions and credits, a copy of their 2011 state and federal returns and power of attorney paperwork.
"We do the best that we can to ensure that we have 100 percent identity verification," said Rojo. "When social security numbers are not available, we ensure that they get in touch with the Social Security Administration to get a print out of their social security numbers."
Rojo said depending on the complexity of the return, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete a filing. Appointments are not necessary at the Henderson Hall center, but Rojo said they are preferred for more complicated returns.
"Some may be as simple as a W-2 and a 1040 E-Z [form]. That takes about 15 minutes," she said. Preparers at both centers have recently undergone a week of formalized training to become certified tax preparers. Six Marines will man the Henderson Hall center while 10 Soldiers will be on hand at the Fort Myer center.
Colucci said as soon as his preparers received their own W-2's they came into the center and completed their own returns.
"It's excellent practice for Soldiers to do their own returns," he said. For more information on the Bldg. 406 tax center, call 703-696-1040. For the Bldg. 29 tax center call 703-693-7001.