Tax centers open Feb. 4
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan -- Tax centers at Camps Foster and Hansen are scheduled to open Feb. 4 to provide free assistance with tax filing.
Tax centers will be located in building 2694 at Camp Hansen and building 5960 at Camp Foster.
“The current locations are a true benefit for status of forces agreement personnel, especially with the addition of the facility on Camp Hansen,” said Capt. William C. Morrison, the legal assistance officer in charge of the legal support service section at Camp Foster. “Those who are located at the northern camps won’t have to travel as far to get tax assistance now.”
The tax center provides free tax advice, preparation and electronic filing to all SOFA personnel, retired military members, family members of personnel who died on active duty and family members of deceased retired military members.
The Marines at the tax centers are trained at multiple levels through the Internal Revenue Service before working on customers’ taxes, including training on foreign tax considerations, according to Staff Sgt. Felix A. Lora, Camp Foster tax center staff noncommissioned officer in charge.
“Being stationed in a foreign nation presents unique tax challenges, especially for SOFA personnel who get married to a citizen of their host nation,” said Morrison. “The centers’ Marines are trained how to handle foreign earned income and assist those who lack a Social Security number and need an (individual taxpayer identification number).”
The clerks can also assist customers in meeting the June 15 deadline for filing taxes for military personnel on duty and U.S. citizens living overseas.
“Our Marines have been trained to address military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits, the effect of the earned income tax credit, and federal and state tax returns,” said Morrison. “Our Marines are also able to assist SOFA personnel and their dependents with applying for an individual taxpayer identification number.”
Customers must provide all tax materials to the tax center, including military identification cards, Social Security cards, the current year’s tax package, wage and earning statements in the form of W-2, W-2G and 1099-R forms from all employers, interest and dividend statements from banks, a copy of the previous year’s federal and state returns if available, and bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit of refunds. Other information and materials may be required on a case-by-case basis, according to Morrison.
Sometimes people have a hard time filing their taxes due to time and various other reasons, explained Cpl. Eric J. Marcinkowski, a Camp Foster tax center clerk.
“The tax centers are here to assist customers with managing tax information, so everyone meets their deadline,” Marcinkowski added.
Starting Feb. 4, patrons may walk-in from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, or schedule appointments between 3-5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.
The centers will be open until June 15.
For more information, call Camp Foster’s tax center at 645-4520 or Camp Hansen’s tax center at 623-4177.