MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
With tax season beginning, some service members are dreading having to pay anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars just to have a business help file their taxes.
However, service members and their families should not despair. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Tax Center aboard the base can file most, if not all, taxes for free.
The base Tax Center, conveniently located behind the Hadnot Point Branch Medical Clinic on Lucy Brewer Street, in building 50, is ready to open its doors after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday break, Jan. 17.
The tax center is manned by 26 Marines and one civilian, each one eager and ready to put more than two month’s worth of training to use.
“Every Marine that has come through here was required to go through a two and a half month course through H&R Block where they were tested on taxes, from basic all the way up to intermediate and advanced returns,” said Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Pfeiler, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the tax center. “They all know how to handle houses, investments, retirement accounts and each one of them passed the course exams as well as the tests conducted by the Internal Revenue Service.”
The tax center is open to all service members, both active duty and retired, dependents and anyone with a valid military identification card. For military spouses, Pfeiler said it is highly recommended that they have a valid power of attorney.
“There’s no reason to pay money out in town when we can provide the same service,” said Pfeiler. “Out in town you will get charged and fees will increase depending upon the complexity and tax forms which is deducted from your returns. With us that money can be used for something else or invested.”
The base Tax Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon, and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will always be a Marine there ready to help people with their taxes.
The tax center personnel are also currently working to provide their services at Camp Johnson, Stone Bay and Courthouse Bay. Another project in the works is the ability to provide group tax returns.
“We can take walk-ins, but appointments are recommended. This can help reduce wait time and lines,” said Pfeiler.
For anyone looking to do their taxes at the tax center, it is highly recommended that they bring military or dependent ID, Social Security cards for dependents being claimed, all W-2 or 1099R forms for the tax year, bank routing and account numbers, and documents for credits and deductions being claimed.
Deduction and credits include tuition statements, child care receipts, stock transactions, donation receipts, student loan interest, receipts for medical or educational expenses and Housing and Urban Development statements for first-time homebuyer credit.
Service members who own homes must also bring their mortgage interest statement with real estate or personal property taxes paid.
For those who are married and filing jointly, they must have taxpayer and spouse present or have form 2848 power of attorney filled out and signed. For couples filing separately, they must know their spouses’ Social Security number and date of birth.
For any questions or to schedule an appointment, call 451-3030.