US Army Europe ends face-to-face tax preparation

The U.S. Army has ended funding toward its tax center program, prompting U.S. Army Europe’s Judge Advocate to discontinue its centrally managed tax centers across U.S. Army installations in Europe.

The end of face-to-face tax preparation affects all legal assistance offices across U.S. Army Europe.

“During the next tax filing season, U.S. Army Europe will not operate tax centers, discontinuing a decades-long service because tax preparation is now available online at a nominal cost and is often free for Soldiers,” said Col. Ian Iverson, the judge advocate for U.S. Army Europe.

Iverson went on to explain that due to the rise in availability of online filing, tax centers no longer provide the Army with the same value.

“Staffing a tax center with many Soldiers for the duration of the tax filing season is difficult to justify when tax preparation software programs and online filing have reduced the demand for tax preparation services,” Iverson said.

In preparation for this move, U.S. Army Europe tax centers began scaling back services in 2018, focusing assistance on those that generally made less than $54,000 per year. Previously, services had been open to all Department of Defense ID cardholders — service members, civilian employees, family members and retirees.

Although the Wiesbaden Legal Office will no longer provide tax preparation services, it will continue to provide advice and assistance on certain tax issues, such as reviewing letters from the IRS or state tax authorities, as part of legal assistance. For those types of issues, please contact the Legal Assistance Office to make an appointment.

DoD personnel still have tax filing services while stationed in Europe. A filer with an income below $66,000, for example, can file free through the IRS. Additionally, MilTax through Military One Source provides no-cost filing service and includes access to tax consultants and e-filing software.

This year’s tax deadline is April 15. According to the IRS website, U.S. citizens living abroad can receive a two-month extension if they explain their circumstances.

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