Having served Fort Benning for more than 20 years, the Fort Benning tax center opened its doors for the new tax season with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Thursday. The center will stay open until Apr. 18 to provide Fort Benning active-duty and reserve Soldiers and their families with free federal and state tax return assistance.
“The truth is, for most people, filing an income tax return is an intimidating, complicated and tedious chore which is best postponed till about mid-April,” said guest speaker and MCoE Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Hardy. Hardy said Soldiers and retirees benefit the most from getting their taxes done early and gave examples of financial activities people can do with their refunds including paying off high-interest cards or opening a savings plan.
Hardy encouraged all Soldiers to take advantage of the free opportunity and said the free tax service helps people avoid costly services and interest rates that are charged by off-post commercial tax preparers.
Genie Hughes, chief of Legal Assistance at Fort Benning, said she would use the tax center after having her taxes done off-post last year ended up costing her part of her refund.
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“We thought, well it shouldn’t cost us that much more and it cost us $1,500 to prepare our taxes so it took up a third of our refund,” Hughes said.
This year, Hughes said she had confidence the tax center would do a great job on her taxes.Hardy warns about using refund anticipation loans.
“There’s a lot of Soldiers that fall victim to the refund anticipation loan and in some cases their interest rates are between 40 and 150 percent,” Hardy said. “That’s astronomical if you think about it.”
He said charges are usually around $160 for a typical tax return filed electronically and using the tax center instead, could save money.
The tax center is located in Brown Hall in Building 328 at 7250 Ingersoll Street.
No appointments are necessary and returns are filed electronically. Refund checks are usually issued within 7 to 12 business days. For more information, call 706-545-4267.
Files that have to wait for February
Due to government delay, certain taxpayers will not be able to file their taxes until mid to late February unless they want to file now and amend their taxes later. This affects taxpayers nationwide. No professional tax services can file the items listed below until mid to late February. The following tax return items will not be able to be filed until mid to late February:
Itemized Deductions (Schedule A)Tuition and Fees Deductions ( Form 8917)Education Expense Deduction Casualty and Thefts (Form 4684)D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit (Form 8859)General Business Credit (Form 3800)First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit (Repayment applies to 2008 filers) (Form 5405)Alcohol and Cellulosic Biofuel Fuels Credit (Form 6478)Qualified Plug-In Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit (Form 8834)Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit (Form 8910)Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit (Form 8936)