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NEWS | Feb. 23, 2011

Taxes - a different perspective

By Airman 1st Class Lindsey A. Beadle 11th Wing Public Affairs

Much like a Saturday morning dentist appointment, filing taxes was something I dreaded every year. State and federal taxes aren't due until April 15, so I thought, "What's the rush in filing?" But, also like a dentist visit, I knew I was putting off the inevitable.

Joint Base Andrews offers a free state and federal tax-filing service, one that's open to all servicemembers, and their families, on base. As a new Airman, free was something I could definitely appreciate.

Located in Wing AA of the Judge Advocate General's office, The Tax Center's hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Thursday by appointment only, with walk-in appointments welcome from 8 a.m. to noon. The JAG office also just so happened to be in Building 1535, the same building I work in. With the center relatively close and free, there was really no excuse to not file my taxes now. I set up an appointment for the following Monday.

During my appointment, The Tax Center's phone continually rang. Servicemembers were constantly making appointments to get their taxes done, so I suggest making an appointment relatively soon to avoid potentially missing an ideal day/ time slot.

Airman 1st Class Kira Colella, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron apprentice, was the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance representative who handled my entire tax claim. From sign-in to putting the signature on my final tax form, the entire filing process took about an hour. Even though my appointment was relatively short, a more complicated claim could take a longer time to file. Making an appointment for early in the morning could be beneficial for some.

"There are a lot of trained people at The Tax Center to help with all sorts of claims, complicated or not," said Airman Colella. "Additionally, all taxes are given a final look over before being sent out for filing; we really want to ensure everyone has the correct, and maximum, tax return coming to them."

In the end, filing my taxes hasn't become an event I look forward to, but the tax assistance available on Joint Base Andrews has helped change my mind about the process. Unlike other experiences, this year my taxes were filed locally, free of charge, and in about an hour. As an Airman on base, or any other servicemember for that matter, I highly recommend utilizing The Tax Center's services. Calling 301-981-2042 today, and making an appointment at The Tax Center, could change the way you view tax season as well.