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Center opens to help Team Kadena with taxes

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Marasky
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
The Kadena Tax Center will open Jan. 28 to assist Team Kadena members with their federal and state income taxes free of charge.

The tax center will also help with taxes for home childcare providers but are unable to assist with business taxes.

The tax center opened Jan. 24 for military members E-4 and below, and will open for all others Jan. 28. The hours are 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and Saturdays by appointments only.

Members looking to claim the education credit will have to wait until Feb. 11 to file, to allow the IRS to patch their systems.

Last year, the Kadena tax center saved members $600,000 in preparation fees, one of a number of benefits people gain by coming to the tax center.

Elaine Reeves, chief tax advisor, highlighted that volunteers at the tax center are fully qualified under the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

"You get help from people who've had training and can tell what you are and aren't supposed to do," said Spc. John Hedding, an Army volunteer from Camp Foster. "We can help you to see if you are eligible for credits you might not know about on your own."

Before coming to the tax center, those seeking assistance should bring all the important information they need.

They will also need to bring their W-2, last year's tax return, social security cards for all people being claimed on the taxes, and banking information if they wish to use direct deposit. Ms. Reeves stressed bringing in a cancelled check, as it is the best source of bank information.

"Last year we had a lot of rejects on direct deposit where they used deposit slips," said Ms. Reeves. "Those are used for internal information and the routing number might not be correct, thus we ask people to bring in a cancelled check."

The center will be staffed by a couple of civilians, four to five Army soldiers stationed here until the end of tax season and up to 60 Air Force volunteers. But they won't all be there at the same time.

"The ideal would be to have the place fully manned," said Ms. Reeves. "That is 11 computers, so we could have 11 tax preparers every day, but that's not necessarily going to happen."

Ms. Reeves also stressed the importance of having patience, as the tax center will be very busy throughout tax season.

"It's walk-in and you might wait from five minutes to three hours; we don't know from day to day," she said. "Any number of things could happen, from computer crashes, server crashes or just getting caught up in specific state tax law. Please be patient."