Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

One red tape cut, tax center opens

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Wayne Barnett) Sgt. Joshua Phillips, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and a volunteer with the Fort Carson tax office, prepares a tax return for Spc. Amanda Leys, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Inf. Div. Appointments for taxes are required and can be made by calling, 524-1012 or 524-1013.

By Andrea Sutherland

Mountaineer staff

Col. Robert F. McLaughlin, garrison commander, officially opened the tax center during a Jan. 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The brilliance of this effort, this is the epitome of Soldiers helping Soldiers,” McLaughlin said, addressing a roomful of Soldiers and tax center employees.

Open to all servicemembers, retirees and Family members, tax center employees began seeing clients Monday. Clients may call the center with questions or to schedule appointments. Tax center staff said more than 300 appointments have already been scheduled.

The tax center is located in building 1358 on Barkeley Avenue. Clients may park in the barracks parking lots and should inform tax center staff of special needs.

Each year, tax center employees help file thousands of returns, saving servicemembers hundreds of thousands of dollars in filing fees, said Capt. Connor Bidwill, Office of the Judge Advocate General and organizer of the tax center.

Bidwill said he expects the tax center personnel to file more than 4,000 returns and work more than 600 hours.

With appointments lasting up to an hour, Bidwill suggested finding alternative child care.

“We do have a kids’ center (in the facility),” he said. “But there are no offices, no doors to close.”

McLaughlin applauded the Soldiers and civilian employees, thanking them for their hard work and dedication.

“We’re very grateful,” he said. “(Clients will) come in stressed and leave with a smile on their face.”

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