Guam – The tax center officially reopened for business after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Jan. 30.
The center is run with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and is staffed with 24 volunteers who will service both Andersen Air Force Base and NBG.
Lt. Craig Thedwall, of the Navy Legal Service Office, said Sailors and dependents volunteer to undergo a week of training with the Internal Revenue Service and a tax specialist.
“They’re fully qualified to assist people with tax preparation,” Thedwall said. “And so we have Sailors come in, bring their documentation and these designated volunteers assist them in preparing all their taxes for free.”
According to Site Coordinator Jared Anderson, the tax center is available to service members, retirees, and civilian contractors.
“You can come in and get your taxes done for free,” Anderson said. “You don’t have to worry about paying any money and to set people’s mind at ease.”
Customers may walk in for service. However, if a customer’s taxes are more detailed or complex, they may set up an appointment at the tax center.
“Last year we prepared almost a thousand tax returns, so the Navy VITA program here is one of the biggest programs actually in the Navy,” Thedwall said. “Guam is a remote location and there aren’t a lot of choices for tax prep. And so we try to support the Sailors as best we can by having as big a program as possible so we can help as many people as we can.”
This year, Anderson not only coordinated the opening of the NBG Tax Center, but also assisted the University of Guam (UOG) in opening a VITA programmed tax center, providing the island with it’s first free tax preparation center.
According to Anderson, the UOG tax center will be open to the general public, and in full accordance with VITA regulations.
“UOG is very upstanding in the local economy and it’s a great pleasure to help them set up their own free VITA site, since it is going be the first VITA site on Guam,” Anderson said. “I hope it goes over well with the local economy and the military economy and I hope they feel we’re here to help them whenever they need.”
The NBG tax center is located in Barracks 1A, next to Video Vision and is open Monday-Friday from 8:30-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. For more information, please call 333-2061/2.