News: Camp Arifjan Tax Center open for business
Story by Sgt. Micah VanDyke
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The annual opening of the Area Support Group-Kuwait Tax Center kicked off Jan. 31 signifying the start of tax season at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
The ASG-KU Tax Center is located in the legal assistance office in Zone 6 and is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., seven days a week. The center offers free tax preparation for service members and eligible Department of Defense civilians until April 15.
Volunteer and hand-selected tax preparers make it possible for ASG-KU to offer these services. This tax season holds the promise of success because of their hard work and dedication. This commitment extends beyond the confines of Arifjan to the surrounding ASG-KU locations such as Camp Buehring and the Kuwaiti Naval Base, which are supported by the tax center.
“The tax center last year was very successful. We were able to do over 700 returns and save service members about $80,000 in preparer fees and get their refunds which combined totaled about $1.2 million,” pointed out Capt. Voci R. Bennett, officer in charge of the tax center and a staff judge advocate assigned to the 1st squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 55th Brigade, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard.
The success from past years was due to the extensive checks and balances that the tax center had in place to ensure quality tax preparation.
Bennett also said walk-ins are welcomed to get any help they need completing forms such as the Internal Revenue Service’s power of attorney form 2848, a form needed when married and filing jointly.
Spc. Sean P. Murray, a tax preparer assigned to the 56th Signal Company, 54th Signal Battalion, 160th Signal Brigade, Third Army/ARCENT, spoke about realistic benefits from using the tax center compared to using a paid preparer.
“For simple W-2s, you’re saving $50 to $100 and for more complicated returns you may save $250 to $400 by coming to us,” said Murray.