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FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The look of tax assistance on post is changing with the discontinuation of the tax center through the Fort Rucker Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, but Soldiers, families and retirees still have options for free services this upcoming tax season.

“We will not have full-scale, routine preparation services. In the past, service members or retirees may have dropped off their documents or sat down with a tax preparer while they input their numbers – that’s not happening this year,” said Capt. Thomas Evans, chief of the Fort Rucker OSJA Soldier and Family Legal Assistance Division.

But there is still help available for Soldiers and their families when they prepare their taxes this year, he said. “There are free resources available online that they can use at home, like MilTax from Military One Source. The IRS has their own free tax filing service, and (some commercial providers also offer free services or discounts for military members).”

The Fort Rucker Soldier and Family Legal Services Division will also have a paralegal tax specialist available to answer questions over the phone or via walk-in services at the office from Feb. 20 to April 18, Evans added.

In a memorandum signed by Lt. Gen. Stuart W. Risch, 41st Judge Advocate General of the Army, several new mission responsibilities were added to legal assistance attorneys across the Army that made it difficult to continue to offer tax centers, according to the captain. Those duties include counseling of domestic violence victims, representation of tenants in privatized housing disputes and advocating for the parents of special needs children.

Since 2018, the ability to do a tax center was left up to each installation staff judge advocate on whether they had the resources to facilitate a full-scale tax center, Evans added.

Evans said that although the memo placed limitations on what legal assistance can do, what remained clear is that they are still required to provide tax preparation services for Gold Star families and assistance to all eligible beneficiaries with any tax controversy issues.

“If someone receives a notice from the IRS saying they owe a certain amount of money or something like that, that still falls within the scope of legal assistance. They would be able to come in, speak with an attorney to talk through that issue and develop a plan of action. People eligible for this would be active-duty servicemembers, retirees and their eligible dependents,” he said.

Soldiers can still contact the old tax center phone numbers, 255-2937 or 255-2938, or the front desk, 255-3482, for legal assistance to receive information on the online resources, Evans said.

More help on tax filing or other issues are available online at or