TAX Assistance Center (TAC)

The Fort Buchanan TAX Assistance Center (TAC) is scheduled to open 01 March 2017 and will be staffed by IRS trained and certified Soldiers and volunteers. The TAC will Prepare and electronically file federal income tax returns free of charge, but will not prepare any state or Puerto Rico income tax returns.

The installation Legal Office runs and operates the TAC as part of its Legal Assistance Mission. The center provides free basic income tax preparation to eligible Service members, dependents, and retirees. The TAC can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, such as the earned income tax credit, child tax credit, and credit for the elderly or the disabled.

The TAC does not provide tax assistance services to self-employed taxpayers involved in other private business activities, taxpayers with rental properties or and income exceeding $75,000.00.

For more information, call MAJ Katie M. Laffoday at (787) 707-5135 or Ms. Christine Pelletier (787) 707-5146 the Fort Buchanan Tax Assistance Center at (787 707-5155.

Claims Division

claims   The Claims The Claims Division adjudicates personal claims for property damage incident to service filed   by Soldiers. We also receive, investigate, and adjudicate all claims filed against the United States Army in   Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Additionally, we assert claims on behalf of the United States against   third parties responsible for damages and expenses incurred by the Federal Government. We are   located at 390 Crane Loop Street. We may be contacted at 787-707-5199 or via e-mail at: Claims Division

General Information:

Congress has passed laws governing payment to you for losses as a result of your military service. Not all losses resulting from Army service are reimbursable. For example, a loss that is partly your fault is not reimbursable. Army judge advocates around the world process claims under the supervision of the HYPERLINK: US Army Claims Service home page. Army Regulation (AR) 27‐ 20 covers the basic claims procedures.

You May Have A Claim Against the Government if:

Missing property is stolen from government quarters, from private quarters located outside the United States, or from an authorized storage place. Warehouses, offices, hospitals, baggage holding areas, and unit supply rooms are examples of authorized storage places.

Property in government quarters or storage is damaged or destroyed by fire, flood, hurricane, theft, vandalism, or other unusual occurrences. Hail damage to an automobile parked on post and damage caused to property in the barracks when a water pipe breaks are examples of unusual occurrences.

Property, including privately owned vehicles, is lost, damaged, or destroyed while transported or stored under government orders.

Property is lost, damaged, or destroyed as a direct result of enemy action, riots directed against Americans overseas, soldiers giving first aid in a public disaster, and soldiers saving human lives or government property.

Property is lost or damaged due to wrongful or negligent acts of Army agents.

The Claims Division processes three broad categories of claims:

1. Tort Claims ‐ Claims against the U.S. for personal injury, death, or property damage caused by the negligence of military personnel acting in the scope of employment or occurring incident to the noncombat operations of the armed services. These include claims under the Military Claims Act, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the National Guard Claims Act, the Foreign Claims Act, and a number of other claims statutes.

Documents required to support a traffic accident claim are:

Two (2) repair estimates, one of which must be in Mitchell type computer generated format.

Police accident report, government accident report (SF 91), or statement of GOV driver attesting to our liability.

Pictures of damages. Vehicle registration and claimant’s driver’s license.

All auto repair estimates must include a deduction over auto parts to be replaced; if they do not, a 10%‐20% will be deducted from parts estimate by Claims Attorney.

A settlement cannot exceed the vehicle’s appraised value as per Blue Book or other reasonable valuation method. Ordinarily, parts that are routinely replaced (tires, shock absorbers, etc.) will be depreciated IAW the Depreciation Guide.

It is generally faster for a claimant in a car accident claim to file a claim with his/her insurance company and just claim reimbursement of deductable from us. The Point of Contact (POC) for claims over $50,000 is Mr. Walter Parker at the U.S. Army Claims Service, Fort Meade, MD at (301) 677‐9457.

2. Personnel Claims Act (PCA) ‐ Claims against the U.S. filed by soldiers, DA civilians, and other military personnel for loss and damage of personal property occurring incident to service.

These include claims for damage to household goods during a PCS move. For damage of household goods (HHG) claim, Plan A should be filing through the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) at Plan B would be to file with the Fort Buchanan Claims Office. We can only process PCA claims for Army personnel or DoD Civilians in Puerto Rico.

Each branch of service processes its own PCA claims. Regardless of the route chosen to claim damaged HHG, a claimant MUST provide notice of damaged or missing items within 75 days of delivery. This may be accomplished by listing the items at the DPS website or by timely mailing/faxing/e‐mailing DD Forms 1840 and 1840R to the concerned Transportation Service Provider (TSP). The TSP is the carrier that has contracted the move with the DoD and which name appears in the General Bill of Lading (GBL). Normally, the packing and delivery carriers are just subcontractors of the TSP.

However, we assist all Service Members as much as possible with their claim; it is critical that claimants file completed DD Form 1840R or give notice of lost/damaged items on DPS website within 75 days of delivery of HHG.Soldiers and DoD Civilians can also file with us service‐connected property claims unrelatedto HHG, such as a coconut falling on POV parked at duty station (on or off post) or on‐post government quarters.

Depreciation Guide is applied to all items claimed on PCA claims.

3. Affirmative Claims ‐ The mission of the Affirmative Claims Branch is to assert claims against third parties to recover the cost of:

The loss, damage to, or destruction of Army property

Medical costs associated with the treatment of soldiers, retirees, and their respective family members who – as a result of negligence, products liability, medical malpractice or other tortious acts – were injured and subsequently treated at a military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) or at a civilian hospital that was reimbursed for its costs by DOD’s TRICARE Management Activity. These are known as “Medical Affirmative Claims” (MAC)

Command Claims Services and Area Claims Offices collect medical and property‐related affirmative claims under the MAC program. The program is supervised by the Commander, USARCS, on behalf of TJAG, who has been delegated the responsibility under 10 U.S.C. § 1095, 10 U.S.C. § 1095b, and the Federal Medical Care Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2651‐2653.

Note that responsibility for collecting health insurance and Medicare supplemental has been delegated to MEDCOM and regional medical commands in foreign countries, which execute the Army MAC program.

If you receive medical care paid for by TRICARE, please remember that federal regulations require beneficiaries to cooperate in any investigation by providing information requested by affirmative claims personnel to enable them to recover the cost of care from the negligent party, their insurance company and/or yours. So please cooperate fully with the affirmative claims team as they investigate the facts surrounding the claim and the costs to the government associated with it. You’re not just helping them—you’re helping yourself, your family members, and the entire Army family.

For more information, visit US Army Claims Service home page

Frequent Questions and Answers

Translation Services

The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate provides translation services of legal documents for eligible clients. Legal documents submitted for translation must be for official business only and will be determined if the translation can be provided on a case by case basis. We are located at 390 Crane Loop Street. We may be contacted at 787-707-5146 or via e-mail.

Legal Assistance Division

claims   The Legal Assistance office provides notary services, powers of attorney, affidavits, and legal   counsel/orientation services to active duty servicemembers, retirees, and their family members. The   Legal Assistance Office is located at 390 Crane Loop Street. We may be contacted at

Criminal Law Division

claims   The Criminal Law Division advises commanders and staff concerning all adverse actions against   Soldiers, including non-judicial punishment (Article 15), administrative separations, administrative   reprimands, and courts-martial.  We are located at 390 Crane Loop Street. We may be contacted at

Civil/Admin Division

claims  The Administrative Law Division advises commanders and staff on matters concerning contracting and   fiscal law, environmental law, labor law, Ethics, and general military installation law.
  We are located at Bldg 390 Crane loop Street. We may be contacted at 787-707-5163.


claims   The Fort Buchanan Ethics Couselor, Installation Legal Officce, assists in administering the Army's   worldwide ethics program. The Ethics Counselor can assist you with all ethics matters in the following   subjects areas: standards of ethical conduct; activities with non-federal entities; outside speaking,   teaching, and writing; conficts of interest;  political activities; private organizations an non-federal   entities; financial and employment disclosure; post- government employment; gifts; use of government resources, contact with Defense contractors; procurement  integrity; and ethics training. We are located at 390 Crane Loop Street. We may be contacted at 787-707-5163.

Trial Defense Service

claims   The 154th Legal Operation Detachment (LOD) provides defense counsel services to U.S. Army Reserve   Soldiers with a duty station in the eastern United States.

  To request counsel please refer to the 154th LOD Portal which can be accessed through or by using the direct link below:


  The 154th Legal Operation Detachment (LOD) may also be reached by mail at:
  154th LOD TDS
  Lieber USAR Reserve Center
  6901 Telegraph Road
  Alexandria, VA 22310
  Telephone: 1-703-960-7393 or 1-866-763-3552
  Fax: 1-703-329-1065

Department of Defense Warning

This site is provided as a public service by the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Fort Buchanan, PR. This site is intended to be used by the public for viewing and retrieving information only. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. All information on this site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied.