By Gunnery Sgt. Bill Lisbon
The Parris Island tax center is scheduled to open Jan. 31, 2014, to provide free income tax filing assistance to Beaufort-area military personnel.
The center, located in building 911 on Cuba Street, is available to active duty service members, retirees, family members and activated reservists for help with both state and federal returns.
The tax center will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for appointments, except Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m. for walk-ins only. Those with special circumstances who need assistance at different times will be considered on a case-by-case basis with priority given for drill instructors and deploying personnel.
While all returns or extension requests must be filed by April 15 to avoid penalties, the center will remain open until April 30.
In coordination with the Internal Revenue Service, the Parris Island legal services support team supervises the annual operation of the center, which is staffed by Marines as part of the federally sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Last year, Parris Island tax preparers prepared 1,005 federal tax returns and 935 state returns that resulted in approximately $2.6 million in refunds — saving personnel approximately $200,000 in preparation fees, said Capt. Richard Blanchette, tax center officer in charge.
The Marines assigned to the tax center have completed advanced tax preparer training and are certified, said Staff Sgt. Lawrence D. Smith, tax center chief.
Users of the tax center are asked to bring their military identification, Social Security cards for each family member claimed on the return, W-2, W-2G, 1099-R and 1099-Misc forms, last year’s return and any other documents that may relate to income.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 843-228-3547.