Local

April 20, 2012

March ARB volunteer tax center’s first year a success

Tags:
Tech. Sgt Joe Davidson
452 AMW pubic affairs
taxes

For the 2011 income tax season, reservists and their family members, retirees, Defense Department civilians and anyone having legal access to March ARB were provided with free income tax service. According to tax center and legal office officials, it was the first of a kind at an air reserve base. The service is normally provided at active-duty installations and has proved very beneficial for those scrambling to file their income tax returns.

This year individuals had until April 17 to file their income tax returns due to April 15 falling on a weekend and April 16 commemorating Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center, staffed by volunteers from on-base organizations and, lead by a full-time income tax and marketing professional, provided the same quality of service that people expect from a pay-as-you-go tax preparation agency.

“When you work with people in the public sector you get a feel for what they expect from an outside professional tax preparation service,” said Gabriel Verhage, Tax Center director. “I’d like to think we provided the same level of service, except free of charge. We take extra steps when we sit down with individuals to go through their tax information line by line explaining, this is your income, this is how it works, these are your deductions and so on.”

Verhage said, during this tax season, depending on the circumstances of an individual’s tax status, income, deductions and other factors, the average tax return equaled $4500.

“Tax laws change every year and unless you keep up with and understand the changes, you can get lost within the system and make some costly errors with your tax planning,” added Verhage.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Herring, an analysis specialist assigned to the 452d Maintenance Operations Squadron lives locally and visited the Tax Center to ensure his tax return was correct using services provided by Verhage.

“I usually do my taxes online, but it makes me feel better when a professional tax preparer goes though my details for accuracy,” said Herring. “I just want to make sure my return is correct.”

Some individuals found out about the tax center by accident and took full advantage of the service.

“I am on leave visiting my family,” said Marine Corps Sergeant Randy Nguyen, a field radio operator with the 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, Okinawa, Japan. “I stopped by the Tickets and Tours office and saw the tax center sign and decided to get my taxes done here. It saved me from having to drive 100 or so miles to Camp Pendleton.”

Verhage told 84-year-old widow Yoko Ludwig, because of her tax status, deductions and other elements in her tax records that she did not need to file a tax return.

Legal assistance has always been an important part of legal office duties because of its connection to the member’s mission readiness status. Air Force Judge Advocate General, Lt. Gen. Richard Harding has said legal assistance is one of the four pillars of the JAG Corps.

“If a military member is distracted with legal issues like consumer protection, finance and landlord/tenant disagreements, or relationship problems such as custody, divorce or even taxes, they cannot focus on their primary mission,” said Maj. Deric Prescott, JAG, March Legal office. “The Air Force JAG Corps has been working to provide as much help and guidance to our Airmen as our staffing allows. For decades, the Internal Revenue Service has teamed up with the military to provide free tax help to military members and those affiliated with the military through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.”

“While all Air Forces bases have been required to have some sort of tax center on their installation, March ARB leadership, despite the norm, gave their support to institute the first ever air reserve base tax center. Their vision of providing this free service has enabled us to create more than 550 tax returns for active duty, guard and reservists, retirees and dependents from all the military branches. I believe the base leadership’s decision to carry out this project turned out pretty well,” added Prescott.

The success of the Tax Center this year shall provide a benchmark for the 2012 tax season and perhaps more individuals will take advantage of the service next year.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
BC4---wildfire

922nd Civil Engineer Flight, small unit, worldwide impact

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jason Saberin Members of the Army’s Northwest Division Field Engineer Support Team join the 922nd Civil Engineer Flight’s Staff Augmentation Team (S-Team) at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., Feb. 2...
 
 
150412-F-RK887-0128

Team March Father/Daughter 2015 Masquerade Ball

  Images capture the celebration and love at the Team March Father/Daughter Masquerade Ball held Saturday, April 11, on base. The first event of its kind here, organizers plan to make it an annual event to raise funds for ...
 
 
Salazar

Team March loses Airman

Technical Sergeant Anthony E. Salazar August 31, 1974 – April 13, 2015 Tech. Sgt. Anthony “Tony” Salazar, mechanical systems repairman, 452nd Civil Engineer Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, California, died Monday April ...
 

 
SrA-Pettit-picture

Team March loses Airman

Senior Airman Travis Pettit August 28, 1989 – April 4, 2015 Senior Airman Travis Pettit, KC-135R boom operator, 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, California, died Saturday April 4, 2015. Pettit made his ho...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joe Dangidang

Ricardo’s new barbers

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joe Dangidang Maria DeLuna (left) and Michelle Tovar Vazquez are the new barbers at Ricardo’s Barber Shop in the Hap Arnold Club. They have combined experience of 23 years and are happy to b...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

Understanding and caring for women veterans

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Lisa Roybal, women veterans’ program coordinator, Loma Linda Health Care System, Chief Master Sgt. Jo Keller, 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and Airman Sasha Langley, 452nd Air Mobil...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin