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.


 
 

 
163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo

March Airmen respond to helicopter crash

163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter rests on its side at Ramona Airport, Ramona, California, Jan. 20, 2015, after crashing. Seven Airmen from the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing’s Security For...
 
 
Taylor-photo

Team March loses one of its own

Capt. Justin Taylor, a KC-135 pilot assigned to the 336th Air Refueling Squadron, was killed in an automobile accident on Saturday, 14 February 2015. Taylor has been a total force Airman and a member of Team March for several y...
 
 

Military OneSource offers free tax filings online

March Air Reserve Base does not have a Volunteer Income Tax Center on base this year. In lieu of the VITA Center, you can file your taxes for free or get free tax assistance online through Military One Source. The service is free to military and their dependents (and other qualifying individuals). Follow the steps...
 

 
photo/ Charlie Gill

March communications engineer celebrates his roots

photo/ Charlie Gill Randy Staley makes and plays his own wooden flutes and skin drums. Randy Staley is a communications engineer at the AFN Broadcast Center on March Air Reserve Base. He can carry a tune. He’s not a singer, b...
 
 
Chaplain

Local chaplain helps ANG recruiting efforts

Back in August of 2014, the 163d Reconnaissance Wing Chaplain Major David Sarmiento had the opportunity to be featured in a new Air National Guard (ANG) Chaplain Corps recruitment infomercial, the first of its kind in many year...
 
 

2014 – Year in Review

January U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson A U.S. Air Force Reserve-owned KC-135 Stratotanker, currently attached to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, refuels an A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan Jan. 7, 2014, over Northeast, Afghanistan. The crew of the Stratotanker,...
 




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