By Chelsea Place Pentagram Staff WriterApril 18, 2011
April 18 was the last day that federal tax returns may be submitted.
After that those with extensions for turning in their federal taxes or those who chose to file their state tax returns separate have until May 5 to get everything in.
As of April 13, the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Tax Center has ''completed more than 1,983 returns and have saved our clients $487,099 in preparation fees," said Staff Sgt. John Ahern, tax center noncommissioned officer in charge. ''So far, our clients have received over $2.26 million in refunds."
''That includes even the people who owe money so if they take how much has been given in refunds and how much is owed we're still at 2.26 million," said Ahern.
Through the end of tax season May 5, the tax center plans on seeing around 150 more clients.
The Soldiers tasked to be tax preparers have seen on average of 26 to 35 people a day this tax season. In lieu of the last week of federal tax return submissions the tax center has prepared itself for the final push.
''We've increased about 10 more clients a day almost," said Ahern.
''[The tax preparers] have already been briefed that our days will run a little bit longer than normal and they are going to start earlier than normal."
When filing tax returns there are two types of states, Ahern said.
''Piggyback" states require state and federal taxes be filed together and standalone states allow state and federal taxes to be filed separately. Virginia for instance is a standalone state.
For those that make use of the Spouse Relief Act and pay taxes to the state their spouse is from, different rules apply.
''Each state is different. We basically have a folder for every state saying what we have to go by as far as how they want things filed," said Ahern.
''I know Hawaii is our main problem because every time we send a Hawaii return it ends up coming back to where we have to mail in the return."
Since most of the information carries over from the federal tax return it's not an issue filing for multiple states said Ahern.
When asked what tax exemptions are most missed by servicemembers Ahern mentioned the education tax exemptions including ''the lifetime learning credit or the American opportunity credit which used to be the hope credit."
''We've actually had a couple of clients go up and hug their preparers and go out of here laughing and calling their spouse to say, 'Guess what we just got''" said Ahern.
''It's a good feeling to see they are going away happy and a lot of them plan on returning here next year or if they are PCSing they are telling other people to come here."
The tax center is set up every year on JBM-HH and is a free service provided to retirees, servicemembers and their spouses.
''A lot of [the clients] have stated this is the best tax center they have gone to in almost 10 years and that they plan on continuing to come here," said Ahern.