News: Volunteers needed at 2014 tax center
By Julia LeDoux
Pentagram Staff Writer
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Looking for a way to help the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall community in the new year?
The tax center is looking for volunteers to prepare federal and state returns throughout the 2014 tax season and might just be the opportunity you’re looking for.
"We’re looking for as many people to volunteer as possible; there are multiple positions available," said Capt. Aaron Matthes, a legal assistance attorney, who will serve as the tax center’s officer-in-charge.
"Retirees, family members, people who are new to the area, this is a great opportunity for them," he added.
Ten soldiers from Fort Myer and throughout the National Capital Region have been assigned to the tax center this year, Matthes said.
In addition to volunteer tax preparers, other volunteer opportunities at the center include administrative positions and working the front desk.
"I don’t think anyone should disqualify themselves. You don’t have to be a tax guru to volunteer your time and energy at the tax center. We can use everybody," he stressed. "We’re looking for people who are motivated and ready to learn."
"We are already in the preparation stage right now," Matthes continued. "The preparation phase has been going on for a number of months now. We’re now in the process of having the special duty soldiers attach to the tax center."
Volunteers and the soldiers who are assigned to the center will attend a free week-long training session known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, put on by the Internal Revenue Service from Jan. 6-10 at Fort Belvoir.
"The purpose of the class is to teach people who want to learn how to prepare taxes how to do that," he said. "You’re going to be learning some of the basic things about the tax code."
The class is also set up to help people learn a tax software program called Tax Wise, which will be used at the tax center.
"We’re going to have people who are trained there to identify issues that may come up with taxes, to process [returns] timely, efficiently and properly," he said.
Matthes urged those who will use the tax center to bring in all their documentation – W-2’s, social security numbers, and a power of attorney if your spouse is not coming with you to the center.
The tax center will be located on the second floor of Bldg. 205 on the Fort Myer portion of the joint base and will officially open Feb. 3. The center will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays the center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"We’re doing extended hours this year because we wanted to be open for people who may not be able to get down during the duty day," Matthes explained.
Beginning Feb. 8, the center will be open every other Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"We’re hoping with our extended hours that we’ll be able to reach out to more people," he said.
For more information on how to volunteer, contact Matthes at 703-696-0761 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Get your documentation ready now and when the tax center is open, come and see us as early as possible," he urged.