The Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center is now open to provide free tax return preparation services for eligible service members, retirees and their dependent family members.
The tax center is located at 316 Missouri Ave., Bldg. 315, and the hours of operation are 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday beginning Jan. 23.
The tax center will be closed Friday through Monday and Feb. 12 to 15 for holidays.
Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, tax center staff are operating under a drop-off and pick-up process and appointments are not available.
All clients must drop off the following documents to have their taxes filed:
— a copy of the member’s military identification;
— last year’s tax return;
— copies of Social Security cards for everyone named on the tax return;
— all W-2s and any proof of all other earned or unearned income;
— interest statements;
— proof of health insurance (only if through the market place);
— a voided check or bank routing and account numbers;
— a power of attorney (if necessary to complete a return with an absent spouse);
— a completed client intake form (provided by the tax center);
— any other related documents needed to justify itemized deductions.
While the goal is to assist as many eligible individuals as possible, there are certain types of tax returns that cannot be prepared at the tax center, to include:
— business returns requiring a full Schedule C form;
— returns with farming income;
— taxpayers filing with three or more rental properties;
— prior-year amendments (if the original return was not filed with the Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center);
— returns covering the sale of a rental home;
— large number of stock sales or stock sales without a cost basis;
— clergy or minister income;
— Missouri return only letter (if the original return was not filed with the Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center);
— other state only returns (if the original return was not filed with the Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center);
— returns for taxpayers living more than three hours from post using email-only correspondence;
— returns for taxpayers with a spouse living out of state with a power of attorney.
Last year, the tax center assisted more than 2,700 individuals with their taxes, which resulted in $2.8 million in returns for the Fort Leonard Wood community.
Staff Judge Advocate Lt. Col. Robert Samuelsen thanked the civilian volunteers and commanders across the installation for providing Soldiers to assist at the tax center.
“All are ready and able,” he said. “With the tax season upon us, Fort Leonard Wood stands ready to assist service members, families and retirees with their tax returns.”
Additional filing options
For anyone wanting to file their own returns, tax center officials said there are several other free options, including:
— MilitaryOneSource — https://www.militaryonesource.mil/financial-legal/tax-resource-center/miltax-military-tax-services — is free for active-duty service members; retirees and anyone honorably discharged within the past six months; and spouses, dependent children and survivors.
— TaxSlayer Classic — https://www.taxslayer.com/products/taxslayer-military — offers free federal tax return service for active-duty service members.
— TurboTax Military — https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/online/military-edition.jsp — offers free federal and state filing with their free edition or deluxe for E-1 through E-5.
— All filers with annual income below $66,000 can file their federal return for free with the IRS. Visit https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free for more information.
(Editor’s note: These references to online resources do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Army, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence or the Fort Leonard Wood Legal Assistance Office. Information for this article was provided by the Fort Leonard Wood Tax Center. It may be subject to change based on Health Protection Condition requirements. Call 573.596.1040 for more information.)