McConnell's tax center brings millions back

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christopher Thornbury
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
McConnell's Tax Center provides a free tax filing service for military members and their families, retirees and civilians on base and has brought in an excess of $2.1 M.

Airmen volunteers and contractors who are specifically trained to handle military personnel related tax inquiries offer this service.

"Not all tax agencies know the rights that service members can receive," said Teresa Lybarger, tax center coordinator. "In some states, you do not have to pay taxes if you do not live there or you can be excluded if you have been away for so long, but some service members may not know that so they may not be getting all of their money back."

Lybarger has been filing taxes for 21 years, five of those years have been here helping Team McConnell.

Since Jan. 15, the team has helped more than 20 members of Team McConnell a day, totaling more than 1,000 Airmen.

"I feel very blessed that I have the team that I work with," said Lybarger. "If it wasn't for them, I couldn't keep all of this together. They take the tax situation very seriously."

The volunteers have completed a week long IRS course where they were tested over advanced military tax scenarios before being volunteer income tax assistant certified.

"I would suggest anyone that has any state taxes being taken out of their check to come here," said Tech. Sgt. Tracey Gadell, 22nd Judge Advocate General's VITA. "A lot of people don't realize that if your spouse is here as a civilian and they are not from Kansas originally, that they get all of their state taxes back also."

Military personnel can find themselves in a tricky situation because of how different each situation may be. However, the tax center knows just what to do.

"If you think you have a unique situation that is all the more reason to come in and have us look at it," said Gadell.

If a married couple is unsure whether they should file together or separate the tax center has a system that will tell them which would be the most beneficial.

Each person that comes into the center should be confident that their taxes are in good hands because the staff knows about service member benefits better than anyone.

"Overall most people appreciate our tax office because we take our time and we go through and explain the tax return," said Lybarger.

The Tax Center is open to members of Team McConnell until April 15, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday in Bldg. 750. To schedule an appointment , contact the office at (316) 759-3585.