T-A-X-E-S. It’s that time of the year again. The good news is that members of the military community have access to Military OneSource MilTax benefits to help take the hassle out of tax time. The MilTax suite of services is provided by the Department of Defense ─ which comes with a 100% guarantee ─ exclusively for service members, eligible family members and survivors.
With MilTax, you have 24/7 access to tax preparation and e-filing software. You can also live chat or call 800-342-9647 any time to schedule an appointment to speak with consultants trained in tax considerations for the military. They can help you understand how tax laws affect you and your family. Use these resources to get an early start on filing your tax return and increase your chances of getting a nice refund. With MilTax, there are no hidden surprises.
Get ahead of — and a handle on — your taxes
Whether you use MilTax or do it yourself, here are some steps to make tax filing simple.
- Get an early start. Identify one place — a folder, shoebox or computer file, for example — to put all your tax documents so you have everything together when you need to file.
- Gather the documents and items you’ll need for tax preparation. These include:
- Social Security number(s) and date(s) of birth for you, your spouse and other eligible family members
- All W-2 forms, from all employers, for you and your spouse
- Form 1099 for independent contractors
- Documentation of child care, education and adoption costs
Free MilTax Software
MilTax’s tax preparation and e-filing software is free, easy to use and available from mid-January to mid-October.
- Investment income forms
- Alimony information
- Social Security benefits information
- Miscellaneous income forms
- Form 1098-E for student loan interest
- Form 1098 for home mortgage interest
- Charitable donations receipts
- Medical and dental expense bills
- Real estate tax documents
- Receipts for any deductible expenses
Not sure of all the documentation you’ll need? Contact a MilTax consultant to answer your questions on which documents you’ll need to file for your specific situation.
- Make a list of questions for a MilTax consultant or other tax adviser. Questions may include: Can I write off certain expenses? Can I get an extension? What happens if I’m serving in a combat zone? What should I do if our family moved this year?
- Discover special tax benefits enjoyed by service members. These range from extra pay for those serving in combat zones to special benefits for military members serving outside the United States. Many civilian accountants are unaware of deductions and allowances specific to service members and their families. MilTax consultants specialize in optimizing these benefits and tax deductions — and the free preparation and e-filing software is tailored to military life. Connect with Military OneSource 24/7 to schedule a free appointment with a MilTax consultant, or visit the Internal Revenue Service website to learn more about these benefits.
- Get face-to-face help. In addition to the tax services and support offered through MilTax, you can visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance office or your installation’s Legal Assistance Office. Find a VITA location near you.
- Be aware of tax scams. The IRS posts information on its website about the most common tax scams, including shady tax preparers or phishing. Or, you can check with the attorney general’s office in your state.
- Understand important steps to take if you are deployed.
What to know about filing for tax extensions
Filing taxes after the official deadline is common. The easiest way to get an extension is to file Form 4868, Extension of Time to File, before the tax deadline. Keep in mind: if you owe taxes, you’ll be charged interest from the date the payment is due. You may also incur penalties. If you are unsure about how to file an extension, or simply want guidance, a MilTax consultant can walk you through the appropriate steps.
Call Ahead. Get started on your taxes now by connecting free of charge with a MilTax consultant for military-specific information regarding your tax questions. Filing early can help you get your refund sooner. Call 800-342-9647 to schedule a consultation today. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.