By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Tax return filing season is here again and the Fort Carson Office of the Staff Judge Advocate has signaled its arrival by reopening the Fort Carson Tax Center.
Beginning Jan. 31, 2020, tax filers can call 524-1013 to make appointments for the week of Feb. 1, 2020, through the remainder of tax season. Free income tax preparation services for both state and federal returns are available to all active duty service members, retirees and Family members, as well as mobilized reservists (with orders).
This is no small-time operation. The tax center has proven itself as extremely valuable to the Fort Carson populace.
Last year, for instance, the tax center prepared more than 5,500 federal returns, saved its clients nearly $600,000 in tax preparation fees and helped the Fort Carson community claim close to $13 million in tax refunds.
“The purpose of the Fort Carson Tax Center is to help readiness and to assist Soldiers in getting their taxes done in a fiscally efficient manner” said Capt. Mitch Bailey, Fort Carson Tax Center officer in charge. “This year, we’ll have 20 staff members providing more than 50 days of tax preparation.”
People who make appointments are asked to bring a copy of their 2018 tax return, their military identification, form W-2s, 1099s and 1098s, as well as Social Security cards for themselves and their Family members, HUD-1 form for purchase of a new home, rental expenses and car registrations for those who plan to itemize on Schedule A. For those to whom it relates, they’ll also need to bring copies of court orders for divorce, child custody and child support form 8332 if post-2008 divorce.
Spouses of deployed Soldiers can file taxes on behalf of the deployed Solder, but the spouse must bring a special power of attorney for taxes to the appointment.
Bailey explained that preparers at the center can handle most situations, but some clients may be referred elsewhere.
“We expect the vast majority of filers will use the standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions,” he said. “We also can’t stress enough how important it is for people to bring Social Security cards for themselves and their dependents. It just makes the process easier.”
The center, located in building 1358 on Barkeley Avenue, will be open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be open training holidays, but closed on federal holidays. Tax preparation is by appointment only, but the tax center will begin accepting walk-ins on a limited basis starting Feb. 18.
“Most appointments should last about an hour,” Bailey said. “Those with more complicated returns may take a little longer.”
Also, the Fort Carson Tax Center is unable to prepare tax filings with any of the following:
- Puerto Rican income, to include W2s that list “PR” as the state
- Sale of rental property
- Three or more rental properties
- Abandonment or foreclosure (1099-A)
- Casualty losses
- Schedule Ks
- Cancelation of debt of $10,000 or more (1099-C)
- Per capita distributions
- Stock/bond sales with more than 10 transactions or unknown basis