Tax centers open for business
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa —Camps Foster and Hansen's tax centers opened their doors Feb. 4 to assist military members’ on filing federal and state taxes at no cost.
The tax center offers free tax filing for active-duty service members, retired military personnel, Department of Defense civilian employees, and other Status of Forces Agreement personnel.
“If you are in the (continental U.S.) you have until April 15 to file your taxes, but if you are on Okinawa you have an automatic extension through June 15,” said Gunnery Sgt. Benjamin C. Mensah, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the Camp Foster tax center.
To file at the tax center, customers are required to bring their military identification card, Social Security cards for the filer and all dependents, copy of the previous year’s federal and state tax returns, wage and earning statements (W-2), bank interest and dividend statements, education expense documents, mortgage interest documents, IRA contributions documents, day care expenses with your tax identification number, charitable donation receipts with your tax identification number, and your bank routing and account numbers for direct deposits of any refunds, according to Mensah. Additional information and documents may be required for different situations.
The Marines at the tax center are qualified to file state and federal taxes, through the Internal Revenue Services’ online course. The Marines complete their training with a weeklong advanced course, which is given by an IRS representative.
“On the IRS website (we) completed all the certifications, which taught us to know how to do more complicated returns such as cancelation of debt, and health and savings programs," said Lance Cpl. Michael T. Brennan, a quality reviewer and tax preparation specialist with the Camp Foster tax center. “At the end of our training, we took weeklong (advanced) classes that went into more details about all the things we learned in the online course.”
The Camp Foster tax center accepts walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and scheduled appointments from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The center will expand its hours for the last four Saturdays leading up to its closure on June 15.
“The tax center is great because it can save you money,” said Mensah. “It’s a free service, and everyone should take full advantage of this opportunity.”
For additional information, visit the Camp Foster tax center located in building 5960 or call 645-4521. The Camp Hansen tax center is located in building 2694 and can be reached at 623-4177.