The Fort Gordon Tax Center opened its door Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony in preparation for the 2020 tax filing season, which officially begins on Monday and ends April 15.
Located in Darling Hall, Room 224, dozens of people lined the hallway so they could be among the first to make an appointment to have their taxes filed-- a service the center offers free of charge for service members (Army, Navy and Marine), their dependents, and retirees in the Fort Gordon community.
This year's tax center officer in charge, Capt. Christopher Marshall, said that Fort Gordon is one of the few installations that still has a tax center operated by borrowed military manpower from tenant units across Fort Gordon. Other centers have either closed or gone to computer stations where clients input their own information.
There are 17 full-time tax preparers at the center this year. Each of them received training from the IRS through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and is certified through the IRS.
Last year, the Fort Gordon Tax Center processed more than 2,000 clients; saw refunds in excess of $5.6 million; saved community members around $640,000 in filing fees; and had an overall rate of return on things filed of well below 1 percent.
"At the end of the day, the team here is doing a great job of accurately filing your taxes, getting up to both state and federal level, and then giving you an opportunity to get the refunds that you're expecting," said Col. Jim Clifford, Fort Gordon garrison commander.
And despite having fewer resources compared to last year, Marshall said his team is projected to meet last year's figures and will provide "the same quality service provided" in previous years.
Worth noting, he added, is that while the center does provide full tax filing services (electronic filing only), there are a few limitations. The center does not process returns that include more than one rental property, more than 10 stock transactions, businesses with an inventory, and businesses with a profit of more than $10,000.
"There are tax benefits and advantages to all of those … and it's best if you go to somebody who specializes in that," Marshall explained.
To ensure eligibility and to schedule an appointment, call 706-787-1040/1044.
Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with limited service hours from 7 to 9 a.m., and 5 to 7 p.m. The tax center will be closed on weekends, all federal holidays and training holidays. The final day to file taxes with the Fort Gordon Tax Center is April 15.
All tax preparation services are by appointment only. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
The following documents must be brought to your appointment. Failure to have all required documents may result in a canceled appointment.
• Military ID card for self and dependents
• Social Security cards for themselves and dependents (if applicable)
• All W-2s
• All 1099s (1099-R, 1099-MISC, 1099-INs, 1099-DIVs, 1099-SSs, etc.)
• Your bank's routing and account numbers
• All 2018 returns
• Form 8332 (If applicable)
• All receipts (If intending to itemize)
• Closing documents (If you purchased or sold a home)
• Investment and/or brokerage account documents
• Any documents reporting a withholding