Ramstein Tax Center now open

Emily Reagan
Kaiserslautern American

Ramstein’s Tax Center opened Monday to serve the income tax filing needs of the KMC.

In addition to free tax help and electronic filing, the center offers several new tax services to Airmen and Soldiers.

Last year, the Ramstein Tax Center filed taxes for almost 3,000 servicemembers, facilitated more than $5 million in refunds and saved its clients $440,000 in tax preparation costs, said Anita Ackerman, Ramstein Tax Center tax advisor.

“We’re in demand being overseas, and we expect even bigger numbers this year,” said Ms. Ackerman.

A few improvements to the Ramstein center include a satellite center to Sembach and self-service kiosks in the Ramstein center. Also for the first time, the center provides state tax processing and walk-in services.

Almost 180 volunteer income tax assistance representatives are available to help Airmen in the center and at their units – a number tripled compared to last year, said Ms. Ackerman.

“To get that many people involved as volunteers, especially during the (unit compliance inspection), was really a significant achievement,” said Ms. Ackerman. “The support of the base as a whole is the only reason we’re successful.”

After a week-long, extensive training, taught by an Internal Revenue Service representative, the VITAs work at least 40 hours in the center throughout the season. They also help co-workers with their taxes and file them at the tax center.

“I like numbers,” said Staff Sgt. Tracy Baker, 435th Air Base Wing Command Post VITA, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “This is a way for me to keep up with the new tax changes and keep it fresh in my mind. We’re military here so we’re going to know about the military tax laws and changes first-hand.”

Military tax issues include combat zone tax benefits, state taxes, rental properties and more.

The Ramstein Tax Center officially started tax season with a Project CHEER event Saturday, helping 69 Airmen file their 1040EZ forms.

“They can catch the mistakes a lot quicker than I can,” said Airman 1st Class Dustin Hicks, 435th Munitions Squadron, who did not want to wait until the last minute to do his taxes and get his refund.

Although the April 15 deadline may seem far off, all KMC tax centers are now open. Clients are asked to bring W-2s, social security cards, and bank routing and account numbers.