By Ms. Shayna E Brouker (IMCOM)June 17, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - One-thousand-eight-hundred clients served, $4.4 million in tax refunds generated and $650,000 in filing fees saved.
The numbers speak volumes about the dedicated team at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's Tax Center, which celebrated the end of its seventh tax season serving the Wiesbaden military community at a ceremony held June 12.
The center was in operation from Feb. 3 and closed June 16.
Capt. Stephen Hermann, officer-in-charge of the center, presented a symbolic check for $4.4 million representing money saved through the efforts of the center to Dr. Robert Kandler, USAG Wiesbaden deputy garrison commander, during the closing ceremony.
"People went out of their way to inform Col. Carstens of the great job you were doing," Kandler said. "You really made a positive difference in the lives of many people."
Hermann recognized several of the standout counselors and volunteers: Pfc. David Diaz, Pfc. Carolyn Gaydos, Spc. Jene Daniels, Spc. Heather Saturday, Jamie Hissim, Jessica Kessler and Alma Trejo.
Hermann presented Army Achievement Medals to Spc. Samuel Jung, who took on an extra two or three clients every day "with tireless superhuman effort," and Dianne Longo, who "never said 'no' or 'I don't have time,'" and processed 270 of the more complicated returns.
U.S. Army Europe's move from Heidelberg to Wiesbaden presented the tax center employees, many of whom had limited financial background, with a 15 percent increase in clients. Sixty percent of the clients had incomes greater than $52,000 which made for a higher degree of complexity and more time to generate a prepared return.
But they rose to the occasion, said Hermann.?During its busiest week, the week before April 15, the center helped 200 clients create and file their tax returns.
All preparers completed Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program training, which is run by the Internal Revenue Service, and passed all requisite exams to prepare returns.