Each fall, The Staff Judge Advocate Office, or SJA, staff canvasses Fort Huachuca and the Sierra Vista community to find individuals who might be interested in serving as volunteer tax preparers in Fort Huachuca’s Tax Assistance Center, or TAC.
While prior experience in preparing taxes is helpful, it is not a requirement to work in the tax center since all tax preparers receive full training. They receive four days of basic instruction at the Army Education Center from a certified Internal Revenue Service tax instructor on how to prepare federal personal income tax returns. SJA then offers several more days of advanced topics, including specific military tax topics and state tax issues.
In addition, SJA uses the IRS Link & Learn on-line training modules to supplement the classroom instruction. The tax preparers also take IRS certification exams to ensure they have the level of competence needed before they begin preparing returns for the public.
All tax preparers, who also include special-duty Soldiers, work under the eye of the TAC’s tax program coordinator and the Fort Huachuca Legal Assistance Office.
In the past, tax preparers have left with an in-depth knowledge of personal income tax return preparation. They have also found working in the TAC to be a rewarding experience. Last year, the TAC prepared and filed almost 2,500 tax returns and obtained more than $3 million in tax refunds for its clients.
Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer tax preparer should call 533.2009 for information about volunteering.