T-A-X-E-S. This five-letter word doesn’t have to bring on a feeling of dread. Get ahead of your taxes and stay organized with Military OneSource MilTax, a suite of free tax services from the Department of Defense designed exclusively for our military community. MilTax includes easy-to-use tax preparation and e-filing software, personalized support from tax consultants and current information about filing taxes in the military.

Free MilTax Software

MilTax’s tax preparation and e-filing software is available from mid-January to mid-October. It’s easy to use and guaranteed to be 100% accurate.

Start your tax return early.

The tax deadline always seems to come sooner than you expect. Be prepared for tax season so there is no last-minute scramble to find everything, and so you can secure your tax refund early. Before filing, organize your paperwork and establish a specific place for all incoming tax documents, such as W-2 forms, as they arrive in the new year. You may need to track down others. You’ll also need Social Security numbers, birth dates and other information for everyone included in the return.

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Access free tax filing services.

Free MilTax preparation and e-filing software is available from mid-January through mid-October. Powered by an industry-leading tax service provider, it’s designed to address situations specific to the military. You will need a Military OneSource account and an additional account with the software provider to get started filing and to take advantage of this free benefit you earned with your service. Remember to return to Military OneSource, not the software provider’s website when you access the software in the future.

Military OneSource MilTax also offers free tax consultations to eligible service members and their families. Have a question or need help starting your tax return? MilTax consultants are specially trained to help with tax situations specific to service members and their families so you can receive your tax refund sooner. Call 800-342-9647 or live chat 24/7 to schedule an appointment with a MilTax consultant.

You can also get in-person support at a Volunteer Income Tax Support Assistance office location. The VITA program, provided by the Internal Revenue Service, provides coordinators for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. These specialists are trained to address military-specific tax issues like combat-zone benefits and applying Earned Income Credit guidelines. They oversee the operation of military tax programs worldwide and serve as the main IRS outreach for military personnel and their families.

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Educate yourself on tax extensions.

Filing taxes after the official deadline is common, but there are important things to understand. For starters, you must file Form 4868 before the tax deadline. MilTax consultants can help make your tax – or extension – filing easy.

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Maximize your tax refund.

A tax refund isn’t free money, even if it feels that way. You worked hard to earn it, so put it to good use to help secure your financial future. Pay down your highest-interest credit card debt, build up an emergency fund, donate to a charitable organization or invest in yourself by using your refund for a certification class.

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Preparing for tax season can be stressful. Get peace of mind by creating a plan and using Military OneSource MilTax. Get started now.