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With oversized scissors in hand, Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall Commander Col. Kimberly Peeples and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Harris finish the official ribbon cutting opening the Fort Myer Consolidated Tax Center Monday inside Bldg. 205 on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The center is open through April and available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Would-be tax filers who qualify can make appointments by calling (703) 696-1040.

The Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Consolidated Tax Center is officially open.

Joint base command and 3d U.S. Army Regiment (The Old Guard) leadership joined the combined Army/Marine staff to celebrate the tax center’s grand opening inside Bldg. 205 Monday morning. In between answering a deluge of phone calls from would-be clients, service members and civilians watched and participated in a ribbon cutting to pave the way for thousands of armed services personnel, Family members, and retirees to file tax returns without paying preparation fees.

“I want to thank everyone who’s helped us with funding, the manpower, and just providing support,” said Tax Center Officer in Charge Capt. Caitlin Marchand. “We’re very excited to start.”

By the end of last year’s tax season, the center processed over 2,400 returns which saved service members and retirees over $413,000 in tax preparation fees, according to Marchand. She added that the center recouped over $3.5 million in refunds.

“You let us know that our mission is important,” Marchand told the JBM-HH command which was present. “It’s important to us and our community.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. Kimberly Peeples told audience members the center provides “an invaluable service” during her grand opening remarks.

“The thought of doing taxes can be daunting,” Peeples said. “The tax center is truly a great joint base, good-news story. To begin with, it’s a joint venture where Soldiers, Marines, and civilian personnel are working together to take care service members, retirees, and their dependents. The key benefit is this saves money for our customers. Your efforts really do give money back to the pockets of our service members.”

The tax service on JBM-HH is free to service members, retirees, Family members, reservists, and National Guard members on active duty orders of more than 29 days.

Following the ribbon cutting by tax center members, Peeples, and JBM-HH Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Harris, a reception was held in the center.

The tax center hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment or to check on walk-in opportunities, call (703) 696-1040.

Pentagram Staff Writer Jim Dresbach can be reached at jdresbach@dcmilitary.com.