Station tax center open for business
By Lance Cpl. Dustin M. Rawls
| | January 26, 2006
MARINE CORPS STATION YUMA -- The station tax center has processed more than 350 returns in the two weeks since it opened its doors and began processing taxes for service members, civilian employees and retirees Jan. 9 at the new Bldg. 852 location.
The tax center provides full tax services to people with all kinds of financial and family situations and has a staff with specialized knowledge in military tax procedure.
“We do taxes of all kinds for anyone from a single Marine living in the barracks to colonels with businesses and (high six-figure incomes,)” said Sgt. Scott Momper, tax center noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
“One of the main benefits of our tax center is being able to deal with someone who has expansive knowledge of military tax procedures,” said Erlinda Knight, tax center director. “There are a lot of military procedures and exclusions that we have knowledge of, but a place in town might not know anything about them. Most places in town don’t know that monies put into the (Thrift Savings Plan) are added to your credit.”
The tax center staff is completely volunteer, including three fleet assistance program Marines and one sailor, who went from not having any knowledge of tax processing to knowing all the ins and outs.
“I didn’t have a clue how to do taxes when I came into this,” said Momper. “We went through two weeks of intense training with Mrs. Knight, who has been doing this for more than twenty years. We all had to test out at the end of the training before we could even start practicing on the computer.”
The intense training has helped to make the station tax center one of the most accurate in the Marine Corps, said Momper.
“Our accuracy rate last year was 99.6 percent,” said Knight. “The main reason we’re not one hundred percent accurate is because people don’t provide the right social security card numbers or spouses don’t have their name changed in the social security system. Homeland security requires that the (Internal Revenue Service) and social security have the same name for tax returns.”
To help the tax center increase their accuracy to one hundred percent, Marines can ensure they have the social security cards of all their dependants, said Momper.
Another great benefit of getting taxes done on station is that the service is free.
“The basic charge for a single Marine to get taxes done in town is around one hundred and ten dollars,” explained Momper. “The charge for married Marines filing joint is about two hundred dollars. Here people are saving one to three hundred dollars, which can be used for car payments, gas money or part of the rent.”
“The total money saved by all people who used our services rather than using the services in town last year was (more than three hundred fifty thousand dollars) between the (three thousand plus) returns processed through this tax center,” said Knight.
The tax center staff also requests that if people want their returns directly deposited into an account, they bring their bank’s routing number and their account number.
To make an appointment to have taxes processed or for more information on the tax center, its service or what paperwork to bring, call 269-3277