Tax center opens for business Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Story and photo by Amy Newcomb
GUIDON staff    

The Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony in order to kick off the 2012 tax season Jan. 19 in Bldg. 315.
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Left: Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Valle, tax center noncommissioned officer-in-charge; Capt. Timothy Silvester, tax center officer-in-charge; Pfc. Zachary Smith, unit representative tax preparer and the youngest member of the tax center team and Col. Charles Williams, garrison commander, cut the ribbon to officially open the Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center Jan. 19.

Col. Charles Williams, garrison commander; Capt. Timothy Silvester, tax center officer-in-charge; Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Valle, tax center noncommissioned officer-in-charge and Pfc. Zachary Smith, unit representative tax preparer and the youngest member of the tax center team, cut the ribbon to officially open the facility.

Williams told tax center volunteers that he appreciated them stepping up to work at the tax center, whether they volunteered or were “voluntold.”

“I was a second lieutenant a long time ago, as you probably know, and I was a tax guy and I was not a volunteer either, but it is a great service and it has only gotten better over the years,” he said.

Before cutting the ribbon, Williams asked those in attendance to help spread the word throughout the community that the tax center was operational and free. He hoped Soldiers utilized the tax center services prior to venturing off post.

“It’s all about saving Soldiers money, doing it fast, doing it right and getting that money back,” Williams added.

The Income Tax Program will run until April 20, and is available to assist active-duty service members, military retirees and eligible Family members prepare their 2011 tax forms.

Silvester, said the benefits of the tax center are different for every person.

“For the retirees — this is a free service that we offer,” Silvester said. “For the service members — it’s a good way to save money for them as well, because they may be tricked off base to go to some place that may try to scalp them for extra money or make it a loan in some kind of way. Then they end up losing money, because once their tax return comes back, they have to pay off a loan they received and a lot of interest can build up over that time.”

Silvester said the12 Soldiers, including himself, that will be preparing taxes have been trained from the ground up to be advanced tax preparers.

“The (Internal Revenue Service) people came here and trained us on the software, trained us on tax preparation, as well as how to work with all the forms by hand and transfer that information to the software,” he added.

This year there will not be any new tax credits and the homebuyers credit is gone, Silvester said, but the IRS is attempting to do a direct turnaround.

“We e-file it one day and then one or two days later that money shows up in your bank, so it is not going to be the seven to 10 day wait or whatever it has been in the past, which has been a lot longer,” Silvester said. “That is their hope.”

Silvester said the tax center is ready to start preparing tax returns, and Soldiers, military retirees and Family members should contact the tax center for an appointment.

“It’s going to be a team effort here over the next few months, and over the course of the next few months we hope we can serve as many of your tax needs as possible and do all we can to accomplish this mission,” Silvester said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 February 2012 )