Ansbach Tax Center opens: Avoid empty-pocket syndrome this tax season


James A. Walls, left, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach deputy garrison commander, joins Master Sgt. Stephen D. Wendt, USAG Ansbach acting command sergeant major, and Amanda L. Cleary, legal assistance attorney with the Ansbach Law Center, in cutting the ribbon Jan. 29, 2016, which signifies this year’s grand opening of the Ansbach Tax Center at Katterbach Kaserne. (U.S. Army photo by Stephen Baack, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

Stephen Baack, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs

ANSBACH, Germany (Feb. 2, 2016) – With a snip of a ribbon and the slicing of a cake, the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach Tax Center opened once again during a Jan. 29 ceremony at Katterbach Kaserne.

The center continues this year to provide free tax preparation and filing services to service members and their Family members, Department of the Army civilians, retirees and certain contractors – depending on the their contract.

James A. Walls, USAG Ansbach deputy garrison commander, spoke during the grand opening and highlighted the value that Army tax centers like Ansbach’s brings to Soldiers and their Families. Walls said he’s placed a high value on the service as a part of taking care of Soldiers, and recalled taking advantage of the free service even as young Soldier after he first got married.

Walls said Army tax centers offer a valuable service also because the thought of poring over one’s taxes can be intimidating.

“It’s not that hard if you do them all the time, but when tax season comes, people either procrastinate, or they’re intimidated by it or they just don’t understand the advantages open to them,” Walls said to those gathered at the grand opening. “So, you really, really do a super service, and it’s very much appreciated.”

Last year, the Ansbach Tax Center saved their clients more than $430,000 in tax preparation fees and netted those clients about $3.3 million in refunds, according to Maj. Donald Potts, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade judge advocate at the Ansbach Law Center.

While there are plenty of other tax preparation services and programs, Potts said, the Army’s services are not only free but are delivered by well-trained personnel.

“The employees who work at the Tax Center have spent the past month training on this,” said Potts. “Someone from the IRS comes out and spends a week training them on how to do taxes properly. Even if you have a fairly simple return, and you can do it on TaxCut or TurboTax or something like that, you’re still paying for that. This is entirely free – the tax preparation and the filing is free to anyone who’s eligible.”

As always, Potts reminds community members to ensure they have all necessary paperwork, identification and legal documents. A simple list is available below, but for clients who expect to have more complex tax returns, Potts said they can always call the Ansbach Tax Center at 09802-83-2324 or DSN 467-2324 to find out which documents they will need.

Potts recommends walk-ins for those with simple returns. In fact, depending on the workload of the Ansbach Tax Center staff, Potts said a client may be able to drop off his or her paperwork, and a tax preparer would call when the return is ready for review.

For those with more complex returns – for example, someone who is renting out a home in the states – an appointment is necessary, Potts said.

“We need to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to,” he added.

The big change from last year will be one fewer location. Unlike last year, the Katterbach location is now the only permanent, full-time tax center.

“We’re going to look and see what the demand is for Storck,” said Potts. “If necessary, we can go out there and open it on a temporary basis to take care of the Soldiers who can’t get here to file their taxes.

“We’re glad to be here supporting the community,” Potts added. “It’s a great service that the Army provides, and we encourage everyone who’s eligible to come take advantage of it.”

Walk-ins and appointments are now available to community members for this FREE service. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, call the Tax Center at 09802-83-2324 or DSN 467-2324. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays. Please note the center is closed daily for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. To help speed the process, all filers should bring in all tax-related forms and information, such as W-2s, 1099s, interest statements, retirement statements, ID cards, social security cards for the entire Family and direct deposit information.

What to bring:

  • Income statements (W2s, SSA, 1099s, etc.)
  • ID cards for you and your spouse (no copies)
  • Social Security cards for all dependents (no copies)
  • Mortgage interest/tax statement
  • Education expense documents
  • Previous year returns (if you have them)
  • Power of attorney if spouse cannot be physically present
  • Any additional documents you think are important for preparing your tax return

Amanda L. Cleary, legal assistance attorney with the Ansbach Law Center, cuts the cake that marks this year’s grand opening of the Ansbach Tax Center at Katterbach Kaserne Jan. 29, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Stephen Baack, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

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