Photo Information

The entry sign at building 6275 presents the hours and contact information for the tax center aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Jan. 30. The tax center opens to the public Feb. 7. Tax center customers should bring their W-2s, a social security card, a military identification card and any other relevant information.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Wenger

Tax center serves Miramar community

1 Feb 2013 | Cpl. Melissa Wenger

The annual rush for tax refunds is rapidly approaching Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Beginning Feb. 7, active duty service members, retirees and their families can visit the Tax Center for free tax return assistance.

A team of 13 Marines and one civilian volunteer received almost two weeks of training from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California State Franchise Tax Board to qualify them to prepare and file tax returns. The volunteers handle issues specific to those in the military community.

“As service members ourselves, we know how to read your W-2,” said 1st Lt. Guy Smith, tax center officer-in-charge.  “We know that that combat pay is going to be excluded on the federal side of things and for most states as well. Just like going to a military legal assistance attorney gives you that unique military perspective a lawyer out in town probably couldn’t give you, I think that the same applies for our [tax preparers].”

After the client’s return is carefully prepared, a quality reviewer assesses it before it is filed electronically. Tax payers can expect to receive a refund between an average of seven and 10 business days.

This year, the IRS delayed accepting tax returns until Jan. 30 due to fiscal negotiations and tax law extensions. Jennifer Frapwell, a volunteer tax preparer, warned clients to exercise patience before attempting to file a return. Some institutions may not have released all income and expense information to customers right away.

“I would say the biggest thing this year that I want to remind people of is to wait until all of your tax documents arrive in your mailbox [before filing],”said Frapwell.

The Tax Center is located at building 6275 and the volunteers will assist clients on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clients must present a military identification card, a copy of their W-2, a social security card, their bank’s routing and accounting numbers for direct deposit purposes and any other relevant documents.

“If you are a military member, it is definitely worth it to come see a military tax preparer,” said Frapwell. “We have similar financial situations and we understand what to do with your income and what questions to ask to hopefully find you some more refunds.”

For more information, contact the tax center at 858-577-1040.