Story and photos by John Reese
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
The Stuttgart Tax Center opened on Jan. 28 and is now available to prepare 2018 tax returns for eligible active duty service members and dependents, DoD/DA civilians and dependents, military retirees and dependents, and contractors with legal services privileges with total gross incomes of under $54,000.
Capt. Robert Duffie, the Army attorney who leads this year’s team of IRS trained and certified tax preparers, reminds potential clients that with few exceptions, there are no appointments. Clients are received on a walk-in, sign-in basis. The center uses a mixture of volunteer military and civilian certified tax preparers.
“We have excellent volunteers this year. They’re all professionals and they’ve all given up a lot to support our mission of trying to help the service members, civilians and retirees of the USAG Stuttgart military community,” Duffie said. “This year we’re really focused on the junior enlisted members who will benefit from this service the most.”
Some of the delay in getting taxes done is awaiting additional tax documents, such as college expenses, student loan statements, additional 1099s, etc. Duffie explained the distinction of the traditional April 15th tax filing deadline and the overseas extension: April 15 is the day any due taxes must be paid to avoid interest and penalties, whereas June 15 is simply the late filing deadline.
“As soon as you know you have all of your tax documents, come to us and, if there’s something missing, we should be able to identify that for you,” Duffie said. “But until you have everything, we won’t be able to actually prepare the return. Once you have everything, come on by as soon as you can, because you really don’t want to put it off. June 15 is the extension to file, not to pay, so if you anticipate owing money, the IRS can assess interest and penalties against what you owe. Those can be kind of costly, depending on the amount.”
The SLC is still in the throes of a lengthly construction project that includes the addition of an elevator. The front entrance is still closed off; the back door can be found by climbing a metal stairway enclosed in plastic sheeting that keeps the construction dust and the elements to a minimum. Once inside, take a left away from the interior construction and follow the many arrows indicating where to go to sign in for tax preparation–if you’ve ever signed in for legal services at the SLC, it’s that waiting room. The tax center itself is in the opposite direction, to the right after entering.
Contact the Stuttgart Tax Center at 421-421-1420 or 0711-729-1420, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.