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COMMUNITY CORNER - Tax center can ease stress of season, prepare returns for free

By Col. Andrew Cole | GARRISON COMMANDER | March 19, 2014

Tax season. For some, those two words can sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, especially if you know you will owe money to Uncle Sam. For others, it may bring a sigh of relief – a time to catch up on some bills, car maintenance, college tuition, save money, or maybe, even, purchase a new vehicle. However you feel about tax season, the Fort Riley Tax Center can help ease your mind.

If you are an active-duty service member, activated Army Reservist on orders for more than 30 days, a retiree or eligible military dependant, the tax center can save you hundreds of dollars in tax-preparation services by preparing your tax returns for free.

Last year, the tax center filed more than 7,000 tax returns and saved customers more than $1 million in taxpreparation service fees. Now that’s a lot of savings!

Tax center representatives have been preparing for the upcoming tax season for months and have trained and qualified tax preparers who can assist you with even your toughest tax-filing questions.

Trained tax preparers can prepare 2011, 2012 and 2013 federal tax returns, in addition to state returns. State returns, however, will only be prepared in conjunction with federal returns.

If you are thinking of forgoing the tax center in favor of quick cash from a refundanticipation loan, don’t. The tax center can electronically file your refund. Electronic filing and direct deposits drastically reduce the time it takes to get your refund. On average, filers see their refunds in less than a week. And, instant rebates offered by most commercial tax services are nothing more than loans with incredibly high interest rates.

If you prepare your taxes on your own, bring them into the tax center. One of the certified tax preparers will check over your state and federal returns to make sure you’ve got it correct. If the IRS questions your taxes, the tax center can provide help.

The tax center will be open for business following its grand-opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Jan. 22 in Building 7034, on the corner of Normandy and Bullard streets. The ceremony is open to the public.

For those filing tax returns at the tax center, please be sure to bring the following items – if applicable – with you:

• All W-2 forms

• Social Security card required for everyone in family, including children

• Power of attorney

• All 1099-R Forms – Pension and Retirement

• All 1099-INT Forms – Interest Income Statement

• All 1099-DIV Forms – Dividend Income Statement

• Form 1098 – Mortgage Interest Statement

• Form 1098-E – Student Loan Interest Statement

• Bank routing and account numbers

• Receipts for deductible expenses

• 2012 Tax returns

• Form 8332 signed by custodial parent if a noncustodial parent is claiming a child exemption.

The tax center, located at Building 7034, is just one more service provided at Fort Riley to help ease the burden on Soldiers, family members and retirees. For more information, call 785-239-1040.

If you would like to comment on this article or suggest a topic for Community Corner, email usarmy.riley.imcom.mbx.post-newspaper@mail.mil or visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fortrileygc.
Tag Income Taxes   Tag Tax Center