Q: How long will service members and eligible family members have access to the Military OneSource online tax preparation and filing program at no cost?
A: Military OneSource provides the link to the tax preparation and filing software through June 30, 2015.
Q: What kind of assistance is available through Military OneSource’s tax services?
A: Military OneSource provides assistance to service members and eligible family members by way of the following resources.
Trained Military OneSource tax consultants assist service members and eligible family members by helping them make informed decisions about their tax situations. Assistance includes:
- Sharing information about the unique tax requirements and issues related to military personnel and their families
- Identifying applicable Internal Revenue Service and state tax regulations, definitions and forms
- Providing electronic copies of tax forms and helping service members and eligible family members understand how to complete tax forms
- Reviewing options for using a refund, including how to use the refund to pay down debt
- Explaining additional tax services available to the military community such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinics
- Helping service members and their families access the Military OneSource no-cost tax preparation and filing services
- Connecting service members and their families to other Military OneSource services, such as confidential non-medical counseling, as needed
The Military OneSource tax preparation and filing service provider walks users through a series of questions that guides them in the completion of the tax return. This service allows users to:
- Complete and electronically file federal and up to three state tax forms
- Check their electronic filing status
- Rest easy knowing the servicing vendor is by your side in the rare event of an audit
- Experience 100 percent accurate calculations or the servicing vendor will reimburse up to a maximum of $10,000. Terms and conditions apply.
Q: What can trained Military OneSource tax consultants not do?
A: Trained Military OneSource tax consultants cannot:
- Answer questions related to trusts and limited liability corporations or other tax shelter options
- Provide advice, directives or declarative statements, such as, “You should do this”
Q: Can a trained Military OneSource tax consultant file on behalf of a service member or eligible family member?
A: No. Service members and eligible family members must complete and file their tax returns themselves.
- The vendor’s online software product for tax preparation and filing is easy to use, and technical assistance is available for service members and eligible family members if they require assistance. For technical assistance (log-in issues, using the software, printing returns, etc.), please call 855-897-8639 and follow the prompts. In addition, Military OneSource provides no-cost tax consultations should service members or eligible family members have any personal tax-related questions.
- Service members and their families can call 800-342-9647 and ask to speak with a trained Military OneSource tax consultant. During tax season (January through April), trained tax consultants are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Time. After April 15, 2015, trained tax consultants are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Q: Who is eligible for the Military OneSource no-cost tax preparation and filing service?
A: The following individuals are eligible to receive Military OneSource tax services:
- All active-duty service members of the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy and United States Air Force
- Members of the National Guard and of the reserve (regardless of activation status), including members of the Coast Guard Reserve activated as part of the Department of the Navy under Title 10 authority
- Service members who retired (includes medically retired individuals) and discharged honorably (includes general under honorable conditions) are eligible until 180 days past their retirement date, end of tour of service or discharge date
- Spouses and dependent children of the eligible service members and those who are authorized in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System
- A family member who is taking care of the affairs of an eligible service member when the service member is deployed
- A severely injured service member of one of the services noted above or a designated family member of a severely injured member who is incapable of handling his or her own affairs
- Eligible survivors of active duty, Guard and reserve deceased service members regardless of conflict or activation status
- Members of the Department of Defense civilian expeditionary workforce when deployed (as defined by Department of Defense Directive 1404.10) during the 90 days prior to deployment and 180 days post deployment
NOTE: Except as detailed above, United States Coast Guard personnel, spouses and dependent children are not eligible for this service. United States Coast Guard members should refer to the United States Coast Guard Tax Assistance Web page for tax assistance and the United States Armed Forces Legal Assistance Legal Services Locator Web page to locate the nearest installation with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance resources.
Q: How can a service member or eligible family member access Military OneSource tax services?
A: Trained tax consultants are available to assist service members and their eligible family members year-round. Service members and their families can access trained Military OneSource tax consultants by calling toll free 800-342-9647. This toll-free number can be used when calling from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands, Guam or Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands). Callers wishing to speak to trained tax consultants in Spanish can use 877-888-0727. For those requiring a telecommunications device for the deaf with a teletypewriter, please call 866-607-6794.
Q: How can a service member or eligible family member gain access to the Military OneSource tax preparation and filing software to complete their tax return?
A: If you are:
- An eligible participant with a forgotten user identification – Submit a “Support Request Form” by clicking on the Support button located at the top of the sign-in screen. (You can also contact the Military Community and Family Policy Helpdesk at 888-363-6431 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, for assistance.)
- An eligible participant without a current user identification and password – Simply visit the Military OneSource website and click on the Login button located in the top right corner next to the Shopping Bag. Next click Sign Up Now next to New User and follow the prompts.
Q: Is the Military OneSource no-cost online tax preparation and filing process secure?
A: Yes. The contract vendor’s online filing system protects the security and confidentiality of personal information by using industry-recognized security safeguards. These safeguards include firewalls coupled with carefully developed security procedures to protect your information from loss, misuse or unauthorized alteration. Whenever sensitive information is asked for, such as Social Security numbers, it is encrypted as it is transmitted to the site. Military OneSource offers the online tax preparation and filing software at no cost to eligible users therefore the system should never solicit credit card or payment information for the use of the software. Should a user receive a request for payment they should immediately contact 855-897-8639. Additionally, tax return information is not made available to anyone for marketing purposes, and personal information is not sold or rented.
Q: What other tax assistance is available to service members and their families?
A: Many installations and some larger commands offer the military-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides tax advice and preparation, return filing and other tax assistance to military members and their families at no cost. To find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program site near you, use the Armed Forces Legal Assistance Legal Services Locator.
Q: Does the 2015 Military OneSource no-cost tax preparation and filing service include any new features?
A: Yes. The Military OneSource no-cost electronic filing service now allows eligible participants to include charitable deductions, mortgage interest and rental property as a part of their tax return.
Q: Do service members or eligible family members have to complete their return all at once, or can they save their return and finish it at a later?
A: Eligible participants do not have to complete their return at one time. They will be asked to create a secure user identification and password that will enable them to save, close and come back later, as needed. It is important for users to remember their username and password in order to log in to their account later. If users should forget their username and password, they may request either one by clicking the Forgot My Sign-In Information link that is available on the product login screen.
Q: When does the Internal Revenue Service accept tax returns online?
A: The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting electronically filed returns in January 2015. If you prepare and complete your returns with the online tax preparation and filing software offered through Military OneSource prior to the Internal Revenue Service opening date, your return will be held on secure servers until the service begins processing. Once the electronic file opens, the system automatically submits the return to the Internal Revenue Service.
Q: Can service members and eligible family members make changes to their tax return once they electronically file their return?
- If users have already electronically filed their return and are waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to accept it, they cannot make any changes to their return.
- If the Internal Revenue Service has already accepted the service member or eligible family member’s return, he or she would need to file a Form 1040X (Amended Return) to make any changes to their return. Note that amended returns cannot be filed electronically due to Internal Revenue Service restrictions. You must send a hard copy through the mail.
- Should users need to amend their return, they can do so by using the tool available through the Military OneSource vendor software. In order to prepare an amendment, the Internal Revenue Service must accept their original electronically filed return. To prepare an amended return, click File an Amended Return under Tax Filing Resources on the Overview screen.
- If the Internal Revenue Service rejects the original return, the rejection notice will include instructions on how to correct and re-file the return.
Q: If service members and eligible family members used Military OneSource to file their taxes the previous year, will they have access to that information?
A: Yes. Eligible participants can transfer their tax information for use in preparing this year’s tax returns regardless of whether or not they were assisted at the vendor’s office, completed them online or purchased tax software for the 2013 tax year. If an eligible participant purchased another vendor’s software and downloaded it to a personal computer, the participant will be able to transfer 2013 tax year information into the Military OneSource provided online tax preparation and filing software for the 2014 tax year at no cost.
Q: Do federal and state tax returns need to be filed at the same time?
A: Hawaii and Arkansas require residents to electronically file their federal and state returns at the same time, while all other states allow you to electronically file them together or separately. Although you can electronically file your state and federal returns separately through Military OneSource, we recommend that you file them at the same time. If you choose to file them separately, you will have to wait two to three days for an Internal Revenue Service acknowledgement of your federal return before you can electronically file your state return.
Q: How long will it take for information on the status of a return to become available?
A: With the Internal Revenue Service electronic filing improvements, you can know the status of your return within a couple of hours. However, it can take up to 72 hours to receive the status of an electronically filed return from the Internal Revenue Service if completed through Military OneSource. It can then take up to an additional 48 hours before the status is updated in the program. You will receive an email when your return status has changed. Once your return has been filed, you can check the status of your return by logging in to your online account. Your return status will be available on the initial screen when logging in. Make sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org as an accepted email address to your safe sender list in order to receive your filing status by email.
Q: What browsers are compatible with the Military One Source no-cost tax preparation and filing program?
A: Compatible browsers include:
- Google Chrome version 16 and above
- Internet Explorer 8 and above
- Mozilla Firefox version 11 and above
- Safari version 5 and above