Financial & Legal
Managing money and legal affairs are part of mission readiness. Military OneSource provides strategies on consolidating and paying down debt, saving for retirement or college, and creating a financial plan that will lead to financial security. Link to installation legal services that protect you and your family from mishaps. And find out how Military OneSource MilTax free tax services can make quick work out of tax preparation and filing. Set financial goals for your future by tapping into the information and resources available through Military OneSource.
12 Situations Where You Can Get Free Legal Help
As a service member or eligible member of a military family, you have access to free legal benefits and services through your legal assistance office — for a wide range of circumstances, from reviewing a lease agreement to doing estate planning to getting advice if you get sued.
Making Tax Filing Simple
T-A-X-E-S. It’s that time of the year again, and if there’s good news to be had, it’s that you have access to special assistance as a member of the military community in getting your taxes in order.
Your Military Service Offers a Faster Track to US Citizenship
Every year, thousands of foreign-born service members and their family members become U.S. naturalized citizens. Learn more about steps to become a U.S. citizen and how you can use your military service to speed up the process and save money for processing fees.
12 Tax Tips Made for Military Life
Did you become an expert on capital gain exclusions before your last permanent change of station? Don't worry - as a service member, you have free access to MilTax, Military OneSource tax services.
Three Ways to Get a Federal Tax Extension as a Service Member
If you can’t file your federal tax return by the April 15 – April 17, 2017 – deadline, then consider filing for an extension. Doing so is more common than you may think.
The Military's A+ Financial Benefits to Protect Your Future
As a service member, you've earned financial benefits to help protect your future.
Voting Becomes Easier for the Mobile Military Life
As a guardian of our nation, you protect the American way of life. The Federal Voting Assistance Program is here to ensure you and your family are able to exercise your right to vote.
How Active-Duty Service Members Can Use the High-3 and Final Pay Military Retirement Calculators
You can get a solid estimate in less than five minutes using free retirement pension calculators for both the High-36 and Final Pay legacy retirement systems offered by the Department of Defense. Here’s how to use them – and what you can do to adjust the outcomes to fund your future retirement lifestyle.
Hang on to These Eight Saving Tips for Your Next Paycheck
In the military, you learn to prepare for the future by using the tools at your disposal. Saving money falls into that preparation category.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Blended Retirement System
Get your questions about the Blended Retirement System answered.
Expanded Credit Protections for Service Members and Their Families
The Military Lending Act protects military families like yours from wrongful loan practices.
Personal Financial Management Counseling Options
The Department of Defense offers a number of financial counseling options for you and your family to help plan and control your financial future.
Managing the Divorce Process
Just about any way you look at it, divorce stinks. There are emotional and confusing legal issues that need to be faced. You can ease the time, costs and heartache of a divorce by understanding what you need to consider as you go through the legal process.
How to Control Your Budget When Your Spouse Is Deployed
Your spouse’s deployment doesn’t need to throw your finances off track.
Budgeting Tips to Successfully Balance Your Budget
Learning to balance your budget is a necessary life skill. While it sounds like a chore, once you develop some sound budgeting strategies, you can enjoy the security it provides and build wealth. Plus, keeping sound finances is important for your security clearance.
How Members of the National Guard and Reserves Can Use the Official BRS Retirement Calculator
Military members who serve their country as part of the National Guard or a branch’s reserve component may qualify for retirement benefits – including a Blended Retirement System pension and Thrift Savings Plan retirement payments. You can estimate what your potential retirement payments may be with the official BRS military pay calculator.
25 Money-saving Tips for Military Families
Want to protect your hard-earned cash? Military discounts go a long way. Always ask retailers, restaurants, airlines, motels and other establishments, “Do you have a military discount?” Meanwhile, here are 25 other money-saving tips. Go ahead, wave your frugal flag.
How Active Duty Service Members Can Use the Official BRS Retirement Calculator
Retirement can feel like a long way away, especially if you’ve only just started your military career. Still, what you save today will grow significantly by the time you’re ready to retire – even if it’s only a little bit each month.
7 Small Steps Military Families Can Take to Save Money
Saving takes the kind of discipline, time and a commitment that military families already have.
Living on Your Military Paycheck
You can take control of your financial future today. Start small with a few simple changes to save more, spend less, and better manage your day-to-day finances.
How to Create a Financial Plan for Every Phase of Life
A financial plan evaluates your current financial state, sets goals for your future and makes a concrete plan for financial freedom.
Military Families, Plan Now to Reach Your Financial Goals
You have a unique vision of what you want the future to look like. Maybe you want to buy a home, send your children to college or you’re looking toward retirement. When it comes to planning for your “some-day” expenses, they become a lot more attainable if you start planning and saving early.
Keep a Sharp Eye Out for Identity Theft and Scams
Millions of people each year fall victim to identity theft or military scams of some kind. If you fall prey, it can cost you money, time and lots of stress. It happens when you let your guard down. Safeguard your Social Security number, military ID and other sensitive data. See how.
How to Deal with Special Tax Considerations
When major changes happen that affect your income or your assets — such as the death of a family member or the pending start of college — the last thing you want to consider is taxes.
College Tuition and Taxes: What You Need to Know
Take advantage of tax savings if you are pursuing higher education. If you are a student or parent with an eye toward maximizing your tax deductions, make sure to connect with MilTax , Military OneSource tax services.
How to Reduce Your Dependency on Credit When You’re in the Military
Take control of your finances by reducing your debt.
Legal and Financial Considerations for Lesbian and Gay Service Members
Great strides have been made on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The following information will help you understand benefits and protections for lesbian and gay service members.
Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Tax Laws
Tax laws have changed, and they are likely to affect you. Learn how you can take steps now to maximize your benefits under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and protect against an unexpected tax bill or penalty next year.
On Your Side: Military Financial Support
Service members and their families have access to substantial resources to save money and manage your expenses. Learn more about ways to save and protect your family’s financial health with the following programs:
Getting a Tax Refund? Seven Budgeting Tips to Make It Count
Getting a tax refund may seem like free money, but it’s not. A tax refund is money you worked hard to earn last year and overpaid to the government. So, before you let it burn a hole in your pocket, think about putting it to better use.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
This year, take command of your taxes. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, provided through the Armed Forces Tax Council, provides coordinators for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
OCONUS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Locations
Service members and their families have earned something that few others have – easy access to free tax consultants and financial counselors with military expertise, along with secure online tax preparation and filing software.
Ins and Outs of Filing Military Taxes When You Are Deployed
Deployed service members are expected to file their taxes. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service realizes service members and their families face unique circumstances and offers tools — and some special extensions — to make tax filing easier.
Earn, Spend, Protect, Borrow, Save and Invest
During Military Consumer Month, and whenever you sit down to work on your financial goals, think through how you can maximize what you earn, spend wisely, protect your assets and be a savvy borrower, saver and investor.
Military Legal Resources Available to You
When legal issues arise, service members and their families have a number of resources at their fingertips, much of it free. Legal assistance is available whether you need an expert to review a contract, help with estate planning, finalize deployment-related legal documents, or get advice on mediation for child custody.
Save for College With a 529 Plan
You've got the discipline to start saving early for your children's education. The popular 529 plans are flexible, offer tax savings and are available in every state to start planning for college.
11 Calculators to Help You Scope Out Your Personal Finances
Buying a car or appliance? Applying for a loan? Paying off debt? Saving for college? Take more control of your personal finances. Military OneSource has assembled 11 calculators to show you how to pay off debt and help you better manage life's financial decisions.
Military Relief Organizations and Emergency Financial Help
If you’re having serious financial problems, your service relief organization may be able to help. Army Emergency Relief, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the Air Force Aid Society are here to help you weather financial emergencies.
Preparing for Deployment by Setting Savings Goals
When you and your family are preparing for a deployment, set savings goals that will make the most of your special payments.
How to Pay Down Your Holiday Debt
If you overspent during the holidays this year, it's time to get your finances back on track.
Caring for a Deployed Service Member's Child
Caring for a child of a deployed service member is an opportunity to serve the country in a unique way. Like everything, a little preparation and the right information will go a long way towards ensuring a smooth transition.
Documents for a Deployed Service Member's Designated Family Caregiver
You want your family to be in the best care possible. Create a family care plan to provide the information and documents necessary for a designated caregiver to care for your family until you come home.
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s for nearly everyone who owns property, such as a house, car and savings.
How to Rent Your Home When You Deploy
While you’re deployed, you may want to rent your home or leave it in the hands of a house sitter. Both options can help deter break-ins, keep it maintained and, if you rent it, pay the mortgage.
Understanding Inheritance Issues
Inheriting money or property can be complex. Be prepared by understanding the basics and learning where you can get help.
What to Expect When Meeting With Your Lawyer
Knowing what to expect when you meet with an attorney can make your meeting more productive and efficient. Get the most out of your time together by following these tips before and during your meeting.
Your Vote Always Counts, So Be a Responsible Voter
It’s your civic duty as an American to vote. It’s also your right to make sure you’re voting for the candidate who will do the best job for your community, state and nation.
Life Happens: Legal Assistance and Paperwork for Service Members and Families
You know the drill: paperwork comes with the military. It also comes into play for legal protections — in your professional and personal life.
10 Smart Tips for Military Families to Save on Holiday Spending
Holidays mean spending, but you’ve got the discipline to keep it reined in this season.
Be Proactive with Child Custody
If you’re a military parent who has custody or visitation rights for your children, military service can disrupt those arrangements. But you do have rights.
Power of Attorney Basics
A power of attorney is a written document that gives one person the authority to act on another's behalf for any legal or economic issues for a specified time. You can tailor your powers of attorney for any situation, choosing between a general power of attorney or a special power of attorney, and whether the power of attorney is durable or not.
Writing a Last Will and Testament
Although writing a last will and testament is not required, it is recommended that service members and their families have wills, even if you do not have kids or valuable property. A valid will is a legally binding document that ensures your wishes are carried out after your death.
CONUS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Locations
Looking for an OCONUS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance location or a Certified Acceptance Agent at a military installation? Visit Military OneSource's OCONUS location listing.
5 Tips for Using Credit Cards Overseas
Whether you're stationed out of the country or just traveling, plan to use your card wisely while overseas.
Building a Solid Emergency Fund and Creating Financial Readiness
As a member of the military, you know to be prepared for anything. That’s why building and maintaining an emergency fund is key to financial readiness.
How Do I Report a Crime on the Installation?
Report the crime to the nearest military police agency, whether the victims are on a military installation or if military personnel were involved. Don’t take matters into your own hands if the situation is dangerous.
Service Member Privacy Versus Public Access to Information
As service members, you have the right to keep your personally identifiable information private. Meanwhile, the public has the right to access federal agency records.
Mediation is a less costly alternative to calling lawyers and heading to court. It’s an informal and confidential way to resolve conflicts with the help of a neutral mediator.
Considering the Legal Implications of Drunk Driving and Marijuana Use
Whether you’re living on or off the installation, driving under the influence or possessing or using marijuana can get you in serious trouble in the military. You should understand the consequences of these legal issues and how to handle them, if you do land in legal trouble.