Income tax season is upon us and it’s time to grab out your reading glasses, visor, accounting calculator, coffee (or wine) and that stack of important paperwork you meant to organize to make filing your taxes easier, but just never quite got around to.
Because we totally understand how busy you are and know that you’ll just end up on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest during your search for tax time tips, we put together a list of resources that every military spouse needs during tax season.
Military Friendly Tax Filing Resources
Turbo Tax has two programs running right now for military families:
Turbo Tax Freedom Edition offers free federal AND state filing for individuals who earn $31,000 (AGI) or less per year (great for teens and college students), are active duty military, or qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC).
Turbo Tax Military Edition offers online filing specifically tailored to identify tax credits and deductions for military members and their families. This edition is free for E1-E5 (state filing is free as well) or for E6-Officers receive a $5 discount on their federal products.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) provides free income tax filing assistance for service members via your installation’s Legal Office. Find your local legal office by using this handy locator!
Tax Information Every Military Spouse Should Know
The IRS compiled a guide specifically to address Tax Information for Members of the US Armed Forces. And, of course, if you prefer to stay far away from the IRS, Turbo Tax compiled their own article, Serving Uncle Sam-Tax Breaks for the Military.
A much overlooked tax credit by many filers is the Earned Income Credit (EIC). When it comes to military families, this is an important one. Because pay earned during a deployment to an area designated as a “combat zone” is free from federal income tax, your adjust gross income is much lower than usual. It’s always worth a check to see if you qualify. Hey, it can’t hurt!
Moving can be a pain in the patootie, but did you know that when you PCS you might qualify for additional tax deductions? Military.com has a great guide to get you prepared if you’re looking to cash in this tax season!
Got kids? Two words: Tax Deductions. Make sure you’re well informed about the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The Child Tax Credit is $1,000 per child under the age of 17 and the Child and Dependent Care Credit allows you to deduct up to 35% of your childcare expenses. Do read the articles to learn more about the details, exclusions and limitations.
Are You A MilSpouse Filing Your Family Taxes Alone?
If hubby or wifey is out of the country and you’re handling the taxes solo, know that you can grab an eletronic copy of your spouses’ W-2 via MyPay, the online portal where service members can access their pay stubs, tax information, retirement savings deductions and more. You’ll need to have access to your spouse’s log-in info OR have your spouse set you up with a limited access account that grants spouses and significant others to the MyPay account. Limited access accounts allows registered users access to pay statements and tax statements.
Don’t know how to access MyPay or is your spouse not sure how to set up your access account?
Check out these cool MyPay tutorials we found on YouTube.
How to Setup Limited Access Accounts for Military Spouses in MyPay
How to Read an Active Duty LES
Office image from Pixabay.com