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Fort Bragg Soldiers Provide Free Tax Service To Military Families

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FORT BRAGG — People who need help with their taxes should look no farther than Fort Bragg. Members of the military -- active or retired -- and their family members are eligible for the free tax service.

In just the five days that they have been open, soldiers have helped more than 1,300 people do their taxes free of charge -- saving them an estimated $160,000 in tax preparation fees.

"I don't have unlimited funds. I can't exactly go to a place that charges a lot of money or charges a percentage of my income tax back," said Pfc. Andrew Wickham. "I look forward to that going towards bills, so I think this place is great."

Fifty special duty soldiers trained for four weeks to help prepare the returns.

"We prepare a variety of tax returns," said Capt. Mike Melito, "everything from your 1040 EZ to 1040 with an itemized Schedule A."

Jennifer Skane thinks the tax center is great because she works off post.

"I work at a gym, and my husband is military," Skane said. "Even last year when I filed separately, they still allowed me to come here and do my taxes."

The tax preparation not only helps save money, it also saves the time.

"You don't know what new laws come out every year because every year, there are five laws. Who knows if they have another law on taxes," said Pvt. William Martin. "Another thing is I always mess up my taxes every year. If I come here, I know everything will be straight."

People should bring their military I.D. cards, W-2 forms, other documents related to income and social security numbers for all dependents.

Tax center workers expect to help file more than 30,000 returns.

The tax center is located at the corner of Butner Road and Wertich Street nearPope Air Force Base. It is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
David Renner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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