The beginning of the new year also signals the start of tax season. There are many stresses that accompany this time of year; compiling your tax information and documents is a difficult task for anyone. But for military families, this experience can be compounded by tax events such as out of state relocations and other confusing pay and residence issues.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), through Military OneSource, is providing military families with a means to ease their burden this tax season. Military OneSource is once again teaming up with H&R Block to offer a service that will save military families hundreds of dollars in tax preparation alone.
Tax preparation and filing costs are estimated to average $147 per household, for one federal and one state return. These costs can be much higher, depending on the type of filing and the number of states you are filing for. Many service members live or are stationed in one state, and still claim residence in another state. Depending on the laws for their respective states, they will most likely have to file multiple state returns. This can make the $147 average go well over $200.
Military OneSource an H&R Block are offering no-cost tax consultation and no-cost tax preparation and filing to service members and military family members, as well as to Reservists, regardless of activation status. The offer is also extended to surviving spouses and newly separated service members (up to 180 days after their separation).
This service is being offered online, so that eligible tax-filers will have access to no-cost tax filing, regardless of where they are in the world. Eligible service members, Veterans and family members can file one federal tax return and up to three state returns at no cost.
Those who utilized the service last year will notice a few added features this year, designed to accommodate those with special tax-filing needs, including rental property, charitable deductions and mortgage interest. This year, tax experts will also be available by phone at no cost for anyone who may have questions before they begin to use the online tax preparation software.
The 2015 tax service being offered by Military OneSource was activated on January 13th. Those who are eligible should take advantage of the online, no-cost tax preparation and filing services offered by Military OneSource and H&R Block.
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Military Connection: No-Cost Tax Services for Military: By Debbie Gregory