FORT LEE, Va. – Community members interested in free tax preparation services should set their calendars for Jan. 31.
The Tax Assistance Center will open its doors that day, beginning the 34th year of providing preparation services for eligible patrons. The operation’s officer in charge said he is filled with anticipation to serve the Fort Lee community.
“One, I’m super excited,” said Capt. Maurizo S. Lewis-Streit, an Office of the Staff Judge Advocate attorney. “Two, I’m kind of nervous because I’ve never [managed this sort of program] before. I do know that our tax center has provided great support to the community in the past, and I want to continue that same standard and expectation…. It’s great for the community, and I’m honored to have the opportunity.”
Located at 910 20th Street, bldg. 5209, the TAC is scheduled to operate Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. It will be closed on weekends and federal holidays.
Under COVID-19 protocols, the facility will not accommodate in-person appointments or walk-ins in an effort to prevent virus transmission. It will operate in similar fashion to the way it did last year, following strict protocols to protect customers and tax preparers.
“We will use a drop-off system,” said Lewis-Streit. “Customers will schedule an appointment and drop off their documents. We’ll prepare their taxes and then they can come back to pick them up.”
Appointments may be made by either calling 804-734-4732/5732/5735 or visiting the Staff Judge Advocate Facebook page at www.Faceboook.com/FortLeeTAC.
The TAC offers state and federal tax preparation as well as electronic filing. These services could cost as much as $400 in the commercial sector.
Customers are reminded that any tax preparation services will require them to bring at least the following documents: military, retiree or dependent identification cards; Social Security cards for filers and dependents; and statements concerning income and interest such as W2, W2G, 1099R and 1099-INT forms.
Additionally, powers of attorneys are required when joint-filing spouses cannot be present. Other necessary documents, if applicable, include prior-year tax returns; home mortgage interest statements; childcare information to include the provider’s tax ID number; tuition statements (Form 1098-T); student loan interest statements; alimony payments; stock and mutual fund sales; healthcare statements or exemption numbers; bank routing and account numbers; and Veteran Affairs Disability Letters.
Visit and follow the TAC’s Facebook page to stay abreast of other requirements and developments, such as additional service changes related to the pandemic.
This year as in those past, trained and certified military personnel from various installation units will perform tax preparation duties.
“I am super thankful to the units – our fellow teammates – for contributing their personnel,” said Lewis-Streit. “It truly shows this is a team effort to support the community.”
The borrowed military manpower will be without their civilian tax preparation comrades for the second consecutive year due to the health protection protocols. The civilian volunteers, many of them military retirees, have become a staple of community support over the years.
Last year, the Fort Lee TAC processed 786 federal and 757 state returns. According to Lewis-Streit, the effort generated $2,184,849 in refunds while saving clients $191,760 in preparation fees.