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Hill Tax Center available for tax season

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UT -- As January nears its end, it's time for many Americans to start thinking about that unpleasant yearly tradition of tax preparation.

With the April 17 deadline now just a few months away, many people feel the pressure start to mount as they run out of days and scramble to file their taxes. Hopefully this year, thanks to the Hill Tax Center, military members at Hill can rest a little easier this tax season.

The Hill Tax Center opened for business Wednesday and will be available for use until Feb. 10 to all E-4s and below and their families. Beginning Feb. 12, the center will open to all military members, retirees and family members. The tax center is not open to civilians.

"We would like to include civilians, but we are unable to get enough people to prepare returns," said Jim Tadje, chief of the 75th Air Base Wing Civil Law Division. "We would probably need four or five times as many staff members as we have now. Most of our staff are doing this while they are doing their other jobs."

The tax center is staffed with approximately 40 to 50 volunteers. "Some are true civilian volunteers," Mr. Tadje said, "but most of these people are military members or civilians who are able to break away at least three hours per week to come in and help prepare tax returns."

The tax center is located in the auditorium of the base museum. In previous years, the tax center was located in the old Base Exchange, but moved out this year because of renovation going on in the building.

"The museum's really the ideal location for the tax center," Mr. Tadje said. "It's very easy to find."

Since the tax center's inception here, it has saved military members an average of $300,000 per year in tax preparation costs while filing about 3,000 returns per year for Hill taxpayers.

"This is a huge benefit to our military people," Mr. Tadje said. "It saves them so much time and money. It's really here for them to use, so I would encourage all who can utilize this great service to do so."