Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Personnel close doors for 2016 tax season

By Season Osterfeld | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | April 28, 2017

     Personnel of the Fort Riley Tax Center have closed its doors for the 2016 tax season after an awards ceremony April 13 recognizing the Soldiers and staff who operated the facility.

     Soldiers and staff members of the tax center processed 6,227 federal returns and 3,012 state returns, totaling $9,642,164 in refunds and $1,446,332 in tax preparation fees saved for service members, retirees and their dependents.

     “That’s an incredible feat for you all to pull off in such a short amount of time here,” said Col. John D. Lawrence, Fort Riley garrison commander, to the tax center personnel.

     The numbers of returns and refunds were lower than the 2015 tax season; however, the preparation fees saved were greater, making the season a success for all involved, said Elizabeth Thurston, chief of the Fort Riley Tax Center.

     “I am extremely pleased with another successful tax year,” she said. “Although we did fewer returns than last year, we surpassed our preparation fees saved, which is what is important, saving our Soldiers money.”

     Due to the current deployment rotation, Thurston said she and the staff were concerned dependents would not receive information about the tax center and have their taxes filed.

     “We were concerned about the number of deployed Soldiers and if we were going to be able to get the information out to the families left behind,” she said. “Given the amount of returns we prepared, I don’t think that was a problem.”

     During the award ceremony, Lawrence praised the tax center Soldiers and staff and said they received a number of positive comments about their hard work.

     “Throughout the entire tax season, I received comments on pretty much all of the Soldiers who worked here,” he said. “What you do every day directly affects our Soldiers and our family members.”

     This season, service members from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, also received assistance at the Fort Riley Tax Center when their own center ran out of appointment slots, Thurston said.

     “We are always working hard and looking for ways to help our clients,” she said. “This year in particular we were helping out Fort Leavenworth Soldiers since their tax center ran out of appointments.”

     Hiring and preparing for the 2017 tax season begins in November. For those still needing tax assistance, call the Fort Riley Legal Assistance Office at 785-239-3117 or visit them at 216 Custer Ave.

 

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