Tax Center closes for 2014 season

| April 18, 2014 | 0 Comments
Volunteer tax preparers and advisers pose for one final group photo following the closing ceremony for the 2014 Schofield Barracks Tax Center, Wednesday.

Volunteer tax preparers and advisers pose for one final group photo following the closing ceremony for the 2014 Schofield Barracks Tax Center, Wednesday.

Story and photo by Sarah Pacheco
Staff Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — An overwhelming feeling of relief filled the inside the Post Conference Room, here, Wednesday morning, as Soldiers, advisers and leaders feted the close of the 2014 Schofield Barracks Tax Center.

“Here we are, the day after ‘D-day,’” said Col. Sean Jenkins, deputy commander-support, 25th Infantry Division, in his remarks to the 30-some-odd Soldiers from units throughout U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, who, for the past few months, have dedicated their time and know-how to ensuring fellow service members, retirees and spouses were able to file their 2013 tax returns on time and with minimum stress.

“We had an overwhelming number of positive ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation) comment cards, so the customers seem really happy,” said Gisella Parent, a civilian attorney with the Legal Assistance Office.

“We really maximized our time, and we really had no real issues,” Parent added. “The Soldiers did such a great job getting trained up on the front end that they really did a phenomenal job and just hit the ground running.”

According to Parent, the Schofield Barracks Tax Center serviced approximately 2,600 clients between Jan. 31 and April 15, with a total of $5 million tax refunds (both federal and state) processed. Additionally, Parent noted that the tax center provided service members a savings of $400,000 in fees they would have spent if they had gone elsewhere for tax preparation and filing.

“That’s no small chunk of change in the economy we’re living in today,” Jenkins said, in his speech. “You’ve helped your fellow Soldiers; that’s what it’s all about.”

In addition to words of gratitude, the volunteer Soldiers also received certificates of recognition from both Col. Daniel Whitney, commander, USAG-HI, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for their exemplary service to the tax center.

“(The Soldiers) really came together as a team at the beginning, during the training, and that really carried throughout the rest of the tax season; it was a real team effort, from start to finish,” said Parent, noting that Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Sannis, 175th Financial Management Support Center, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Ebner, 8th STB, 8th TSC, were two “vital backbones” of operations as the center’s noncommissioned officers in charge.

“We made sure that everyone who we got was focused, motivated and excited to be there, so that really impacted the attitude going forward, which is how we got such a great group,” Parent added. “It feels good to have completed a successful tax season and end things on a good note.”

 

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