Military members and their families receive special circumstances and benefits when it comes to filing their taxes. As a way of thanking troops for their service, multiple services offer free tax preparation and filing services. These services help troops and their families navigate some of the complexities associated with filing taxes while in the military.
Military OneSource H&R Block at Home
Military OneSource, a service of the Department of Defense designed to provide a wealth of information to military members and their spouses, has partnered with H&R Block to offer H&R Block at Home to service members and their families. Through this program, military members have the ability to file their federal taxes and up to three state tax returns for free. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, military members and their families must create an account with Military OneSource and login to the H&R Block at Home program through the Military OneSource website.
Some of the benefits provided by the H&R Block at Home program include:
- Promise to pay fees and penalties if your return is incorrect
- Audit support
- The ability to save and return to your return
- Secure online filing
- Access to Military OneSource tax consultants
Other Tax Filing Services
In addition to providing free e-file services through H&R Block at Home, Military OneSource has qualified tax consultants available to answer tax questions for military members. The website also contains a wealth of resources to help you as you prepare your tax return, including checklists of common errors and tips to consider when preparing your taxes.
Many local military installations have representatives from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Troops and their families may work with volunteers on military bases to find answers to complicated tax questions or receive help in preparing their taxes. The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) also provides free tax preparation and filing services for military members and families on local military installations.
When seeking free tax preparation and filing services from military sources, you must be sure to have all pertinent financial and tax documents on hand. Documents you should provide include:
- All W-2s and earning statements
- Interest statements
- Daycare payment information
- Evidence of charitable contributions
- A checkbook for direct deposit information
You will be required to provide photo identification, social security numbers, and birth dates to verify the accuracy of all information provided and help complete your tax return.
Because the tax system is complicated and being a member of the military creates an even more complicated tax scenario, troops and their families should take advantage of these free services. Working with these qualified tax professionals and volunteers will help reduce the risk of making errors while filing taxes and reduce the chance of facing an audit. In addition, if mistakes are made or an audit arises, troops receive protection to get through the process.
Visit the Military OneSource Tax Filing Service page for more information. You can also call a Military OneSource Tax Consultant for free at 1-800-342-9647.
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