The Redstone Tax Assistance Center is back in business for 2013.
The center – a free service helping servicemembers on active duty, military retirees and their dependents prepare and file federal and state tax returns each year – had its grand opening Jan. 22 at building 3489 on Ajax Road.
Provided by the Garrison, the program is conducted by the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate and relies on its 12 volunteers.
“It’s a very important service that we are going to perform,” Col. David Crawford, AMCOM deputy chief counsel and staff judge advocate, said. “And we have a rich history of doing an excellent job. And there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to continue that history.”
Last year the center prepared 3,879 federal and state returns, producing $1,942,857 in total federal refunds. These included 1,991 federal returns and 1,888 state returns. The value of its services – fees that would have been charged by a paid preparer – amounted to $514,151.
In the last five years, the center saved the Redstone community approximately $2.5 million in tax preparation fees by preparing about 18,500 returns free of charge. In the last five years, the center has helped receive more than $14 million in state and federal tax refunds.
“This is about people helping people,” Redstone senior commander Maj. Gen. Lynn Collyar said. “And that’s what you guys are going to do.”
Garrison deputy commander Curtis Clark said, “You guys do a great service for this community.”
Eric Deets, in his first year as a volunteer at the center, retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1989. Of the center’s 12 volunteers, he said, “I think almost every volunteer has some association (with the military), so helping is in our genes.”
Deets, 66, of Huntsville, said he volunteered as “payback. Everybody who ever helped me I get to pay them back now.”
The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. People should first call 842-1040 to schedule an appointment.