By Franklin FisherJanuary 27, 2020
FORT BENNING, Ga. -- Tax season is upon us and the Fort Benning Tax Center opens to clients Feb. 3 to prepare tax forms and file them electronically - all free - for Soldiers, retirees and eligible family members.
Staff are currently booking appointments for tax help.
The center is in building 130 at Morrison and Ingersoll, near the Benning Club.
Appointments can be made for Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Hours for walk-in customers - those without appointments - are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, starting at 1 p.m. The center will take no more than 20 walk-in customers a day.
It will be closed on all training and federal holidays.
"You are getting quality tax preparation by trained and certified tax preparers, for free," said the center's officer in charge," Capt. Elizabeth Paillere.
Last year, Fort Benning's tax center provided free tax preparation to 2,035 eligible clients - 867 active-duty service members, 58 of their dependents, 944 retirees and 166 of their dependents. It saved those clients a total of $567,971 in tax preparation fees. Refunds totaled $3,567,536.
Besides free income tax preparation and filing, the center's other help will include copying federal and state forms and answering client's income tax questions.
This tax season, Feb. 3 through April 15, the tax center will not do prior-year returns or amended returns. But they will schedule appointments for those returns after the tax season.
Fort Benning's tax center is certified by the IRS as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. Its staff of Soldiers, civilians and volunteers have received extensive training and are properly certified by the IRS, Paillere said.
"Not only are you getting it done right, getting it done well and getting it done free," she said, "but you're getting it done from people who walk the military lifestyle and can understand the different aspects of the military lifestyle that affect service members, retirees and family members."
Those seeking tax help will need to bring to the center various items including valid military identification, W-2 forms, and Social Security cards for everyone named on their tax return, as well as certain other documents, said Paillere.
The list of needed documents, as well as other information about the center's services, is online at: https://www.benning.army.mil/MCOE/SJA/Tax.html.
Officials have scheduled a grand opening ceremony at the tax center Jan. 31 at 2:30 p.m. The event is open to all members of the Fort Benning community.
For more information about the center or to make an appointment, call: 706-545-4267 or 706-545-9062.