Tax Center closes with record high in completed tax returns
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Colvin Bennett Sr., far left, and Garrison Commander Col. William Clark, second from left, pose with Fort Riley tax preparers, as they give one final farewell to the tax season April 16 at the Fort Riley Tax Center. More than $16 million in tax refunds were secured this year. Photo by: Calun Reece, POST.
Story by: Calun Reece
1ST INF. DIV. POST
The Fort Riley Tax Center officially closed for the season April 16, with a new record high of completed tax returns.
The center provided free assistance with tax preparation for Soldiers, including active duty, active Army Reservists on orders for more than 30 days and retirees, as well as eligible Family members.
Last year, about $1.5 million was saved in preparation fees, and more than $16 million in tax refunds were obtained for Soldiers and their Families, according to Elizabeth Thurston, installation tax attorney, Legal Assistance Office, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.
This year 7,778 federal and 5,830 state returns were prepared, saving Soldiers and Families about $1.8 million in preparation fees, she said, adding that more than $16 million in tax refunds also were secured.
"I'm just glad we were able to serve this many service members," Thurston said.
Trained tax preparers prepared 2010, 2011 and 2012 federal and state tax returns for participants.
Tax preparers said they were glad to have the opportunity to assist service members in their field of expertise.
"I enjoyed it," said Nastassja Heitmann, tax preparer, Fort Riley Tax Center, OSJA. "We had a great staff here. We all got along; we all worked as a team. I think that helped us succeed in our numbers. We were all willing to help each other when we needed it."
The work was interesting and very challenging, according to Shay Strubinger, tax preparer, Fort Riley Tax Center, OSJA.
"The work the tax preparers completed means a lot to Soldiers and their Families," said Col. Dan Brookhart, senior legal officer, OSJA. "Soldiers can have unique tax issues, which non-military may not have. The tax center makes it easier."
"We definitely had a great time here. We're all sad to go," Heitmann said.
Taxes can still be completed for those with an extension. For assistance, contact the Legal Assistance Office, 785-239-3117.