PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- The Presidio of Monterey is again offering free income tax preparation assistance and free electronic filing through the Presidio Tax Center.

Unit Tax Advisors, known as UTAs, are available to help service members, family members and retirees in completing their federal and state returns and to answer questions. If POM service personnel have questions on tax issues, they will first be directed to contact their UTA for tax assistance.

UTAs receive a challenging two-week course of instruction on federal and state tax preparation.
UTAs completed tax training Jan. 25, and the Presidio Tax Center is scheduled to open Jan. 28. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Currently, the Presidio Tax Center phone number is 831-242-5084, but starting Jan. 28 it will be 831-242-7365.

POM tax program benefits

Tax preparation is perceived as so complicated and time consuming that many service members would rather not attempt it.

Rather, they will pay another agency to prepare their taxes. Also, many service members who do prepare their own taxes fail to claim legitimate deductions and credits.

Others needlessly pay commercial organizations to prepare simple tax returns. Some unsuspecting service members fall victim to a few unscrupulous firms which offer income tax refund discounting schemes. These schemes charge the user an unreasonable interest rate.

While members of the military community might consider hiring a commercial tax preparer to get their taxes prepared in many cases, the Presidio of Monterey Tax Assistance Program offers free tax assistance to prepare and electronically file state and federal returns accurately and expeditiously.

Contact your UTA for assistance. If you do not have a UTA, call the Presidio Tax Center.