April 15 is around the corner

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The Fort Irwin Tax Center has been providing free tax preparation services to Soldiers, retirees, and their dependents, as well as all Reservists and members of the National Guard (on orders for more than 30 days), since Jan. 20.

However, the tax center will only operate through April 15. United States taxpayers have until that day to file returns for tax year 2014 (unless not required to file or are eligible for a filing extension).

If you have not yet filed your taxes, the Fort Irwin Tax Center would be happy to assist you. There are some important things to remember before making a tax preparation appointment with the center: bring the actual Social Security cards for the taxpayer(s) and all dependents being claimed on the tax return; bring your actual W-2 forms (a leave and earnings statement does not suffice), and; be sure to bring any and all tax-related documents from financial institutions, educational institutions, mortgage documentation, etc. Each tax situation is unique and yours could require additional documentation and/or time in order to complete your return.

Last year, the tax center prepared more than 880 distinct federal tax returns and more than 600 state tax returns. Those returns generated more than $2.9 million in tax refunds to Soldiers and family members stationed here. In addition, Soldiers and family members collectively saved more than $170,000 on tax refund preparation services by utilizing the free service.

The tax center allows Soldiers and their dependents to focus on their missions and their families instead of worrying about the frustrating and daunting task of preparing a tax return on their own, or even worse, having to pay for commercial tax preparation services. Additionally, unlike many commercial tax preparation services, tax center Soldiers and volunteer preparers are fully certified by the Internal Revenue Service.

If you have not filed your 2014 taxes or have specific questions about your case, contact the Fort Irwin Tax Center at 380-3604. The center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is housed in the Fort Irwin Legal Assistance Office, which is located at building 230, at the corner of Third and C Avenues.