CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina -- Beginning on Jan. 28, the tax center for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River will be open for walk-ins and appointments for service members to file their income taxes for free.
“If you go to an outside tax service, you can see their standard rate and you can pay upwards of about two hundred dollars just to have someone file your taxes,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Morales, staff noncommissioned officer in charge at the tax center. “Why would you do that when we are located on base and we are here throughout the week, Monday to Saturday (and able to prepare) your taxes for free?”
The tax center is available to all active duty and reserve service members along with their spouses and retirees.
“If you look at any major installation throughout the Marine Corps they all have tax centers, like Camp Pendleton, Hawaii and even in Okinawa,” Morales said. “You get fleet-assisted Marines volunteering for about eight months coming from different units to work and prepare taxes.”
Each Marine goes through a Jackson Hewitt qualification course that totals up to twenty-five hours and with an additional follow on law certification course through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“The great thing is that they get the same civilian certifications, however it is done for free,” Morales said.
There have been concerns due to the changed rates this year and the financial impacts from Hurricane Florence.
“What happens is that the government will make all of those decisions [of tax credits and deductions] before the tax base comes out; usually they do that before the end of December,” said James Stubbs, director of the tax center. “They didn’t do that this year because of the government shutdown. Hopefully when they open back up we can put that information out for everyone.”
In order to file your taxes, make sure to bring the proper documents such as W2’s, correct 1099’s and documents for spouses including power of attorney as needed.
The Marines working at the tax center ask for patience as they will remain busy in the upcoming months preparing taxes and answering questions and concerns.
For specific information about Hurricane Florence claims or deductions and other details about the changed tax rates, visit the www.irs.gov. To file your taxes, visit Bldg. 50 on Post Lane for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Bldg. 216, Bancroft St. for Marine Corps Air Station New River.