Story by SSG Mary Junell on 04/20/2018The North Carolina National Guard's (NCNG) Judge Advocate General (JAG) office has helped more than 400 service members, dependents and retirees prepare and file their 2017 taxes free of charge this tax season.
JAG office members saw clients in the tax center at the NCNG's Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, N.C.
First Lt. Katie Reynolds, the Chief of Legal Assistance, said the tax center was started several years ago after Soldiers in the JAG office noticed that active duty installations provide a similar service.
"We love being able to provide this service to members of any branch of the military, their dependents, and retirees," she said. "It's an opportunity to work in an area that we wouldn't normally get to work in, and to meet a lot of our service members who we wouldn't otherwise get a chance to meet."
The JAG office's tax center has been able to get more than $365,000 in federal refunds and more than $78,000 in state refunds for their clients at no cost.
"We're constantly amazed at how much similar providers charge for even basic returns," Reynolds said. "We're so happy to be able to provide high-quality return preparation and filing for free."
The tax center, which has a staff of four members, two Soldiers and two attorney-contractors, saw a 55% increase in clients this year.
"We've seen more people this year with two new staff members than we did last year," Reynolds said. "All while maintaining the high level of accuracy that the tax center has excelled at in previous years."
The JAG office plans to continue providing tax preparation and filing services next tax season.