Like clockwork every year, it’s time to start thinking about taxes.
Whether you’re hoping for a military tax return or just hoping to break even, one way you can save money this time of year is by taking advantage of free military tax filing services.
This is especially a great option if you need a little extra guidance on your taxes or if you need to handle it due to a spouse’s deployment. However you plan to do your taxes, one aspect to never overlook is planning ahead to ensure you have all the documents you need well ahead of the deadline.
Below, you’ll find several options for free military tax filing opportunities and a checklist to help you get yourself ready to tackle taxes on time.
When Are 2022 Taxes Due?
For individuals, the last day for filing 2022 taxes without an extension is April 18, 2023, unless it is extended due to a state holiday.
Filing electronically is the recommended way to file your taxes most efficiently. Luckily, even if you miss the tax deadline, you have options. The available options depend on which deadline you missed and whether you owe money or expect a refund.
It’s important to note that if you miss the tax filing deadline and owe money, you’ll want to file your tax return ASAP. The IRS doesn’t like late payments. The TurboTax website states, “Every day your tax return is delinquent, the IRS typically charges interest.”
Free Military Tax Filing Options
Not an accountant and not looking forward to tax time? You’re not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of professional companies that can do the job for you. All you need is your documentation.
When it comes to filing taxes, it’s important to know all your options.
You only file once a year, so you’ll want to make sure you use a program or service that doesn’t complicate taxes more. You may qualify for certain tax perks as well, including the potential to exclude combat pay from taxation.
Here are 7 free military tax filing options for military service members looking to use professional services without paying the pro prices:
1. CG SUPRT
For Coast Guard military personnel, the CG SUPRT program offers free legal services and other unique offerings like online tax filing. Taxes can be filed for free through the site. Log in to the My CG SUPRT page to access the free filing option.
2. IRS Free File
The IRS website has a special page dedicated entirely to tax details for military members, including how to file and pay taxes. You may opt to use the IRS Free File to prepare your federal income tax online using a guided tax prep form. There are also free fillable forms that can be used as well. These are for individuals with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less.
Additionally, the website is full of great information regarding special tax breaks for military families and automatic extensions for filing deadlines.
Try the free file here.
This suite of tax filing software allows you to file your military taxes for free. It also offers customized one-on-one help from military tax experts. You can use chat or call any time to schedule a consultation. Just use your Military OneSource log-in details to access the MilTax software.
Since 2000, TaxAct has completed 90+ million e-filed tax returns. For basic federal filers, this program is free. File before March 20 and you can get free assistance with a quick return review to ensure accuracy before you file.
Check out TaxAct here.
5. TaxSlayer Military
Here’s yet another option for doing free federal tax filing. You can do it all online with any tax situation and Tax Slayer backs its service with a 100% accuracy guarantee. Create a free account, enter your information, and the rest is self-guided to get your tax return filed electronically.
Learn more here.
Through its suite of products, including TurboTax Free Edition, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed, this company offers active duty military and reservists free federal and state tax filing returns. This offer is valid for those of enlisted rank from E-1 through E-9.
Get started here.
Perhaps the best-known free military tax filing service is through your military installation. Most large military installations offer military personnel and their families help with income tax filing. This is done through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, an IRS-sponsored service. These volunteers are trained in the specifics of complicated military tax situations, including how the combat zone tax exclusions work. Check out your base installation website and search tax center to find out where it’s located on your specific base.
Reach out to someone at 1-800-906-9887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions on how to find a local VITA site to get help with your taxes.
Learn more here.
A Checklist: What You Need to File Your Taxes
No matter where you file, taxes always require loads of documentation and paperwork, which is why it’s smart to start collecting and organizing it all as soon as you start getting W-2 forms and other tax forms.
To simplify the tax filing process, here’s a look at what you’ll need to file with ease this year:
- Photo ID/Military ID
- Child care costs
- Last year’s returns
- Investment income forms
- Charitable donation receipts
- Receipts for deductible expenses
- Bank statement (1099-INT for interest)
- Social security cards for you and each claimed dependent
- Wage and earning statement (Ex: Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R)
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
Now that you know all your free military tax filing options, it’s time to get organized and pick which service you plan to use. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you can get that tax return if you have one coming to you!