VITA Tax Center Opens For Business

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Ribbon-Cutting: Capt. Mike Ward, U.S. Naval Base Guam commanding officer, opens the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Tax Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the base, Feb. 5.  The VITA Tax Center offers free tax services for service members and their families. U.S. Navy photo by Shaina Marie Santos/Released
Ribbon-Cutting: Capt. Mike Ward, U.S. Naval Base Guam commanding officer, opens the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Tax Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the base, Feb. 5. The VITA Tax Center offers free tax services for service members and their families. U.S. Navy photo by Shaina Marie Santos/Released

VITA Tax Center Opens For Business

by: Shaina Marie Santos | .
Joint Region Edge | .
published: February 09, 2013

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center opened its doors to service members and their families with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the second floor of Bldg. 1A on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Feb. 5.

Capt. Mike Ward, NBG commanding officer, said the tax center facilitates the Navy’s mission by making the lives of service members and their families easier.

“It’s a direct impact to families, for sure,” he said. “Tax time rolls around and it kind of surprises folks; and everybody’s got to file, everybody’s got to do their due diligence and file their tax return with their IRS service.

Having the volunteer income tax center available here for families takes that burden off of the families and the service members. So the service members can focus on doing their jobs and not worry about tax time.”

The VITA Center, which is based upon the VITA program of the IRS, offers free tax help and preparation by a staff of volunteers.

“You definitely make a difference for families this time of year,” Ward told volunteers. “Especially as a volunteer for something like this for families that don’t want to deal with this but they have to, having someone to help them out with this is a big deal, so thank you very much.”

VITA Center Director Jared Anderson said the center’s volunteer efforts led to the completion of more than 880 tax returns last year, which included federal and state returns.

He added the tax center has undergone a few changes in procedure. For the month of February, the tax center will focus on filing 1040EZ and 1040A returns; however, those with more complicated returns may pay a visit to or call the center and set up an appointment.

“According to the VITA program for the Navy this year, it was only supposed to be E-6 and below,” he said. “On our site they kind of left it up to us to do the tax returns if we can. We have quite a few experienced tax preparers who will be doing E-7 and above; it’ll just be kind of on the timeline at a later date, starting in March for the harder tax returns.”

NBG Security Master-at-Arms Seaman Apprentice Justin Merrill said he appreciated the convenience of having a tax center on base.

“I like it,” he said. “It’s nice and accessible. You can just walk down the street from the barracks. You don’t have to spend a whole day just looking for a tax place to actually do your taxes and you can just come right here.”

Aboard NBG, the service is open to active-duty service members, retirees, their dependents and overseas civilian hires.  Reservists and National Guard service members must bring a copy of their orders that detail an active-duty status for 30 days or more. Services are available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The tax center also controls satellite offices at Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam and Andersen Air Force Base.

For more information, the VITA Center can be reached at 333-2061/2.

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