Finding Free Military Tax Filing Services

Filing income taxes is often a problem for military families, who may not realize they are eligible for free military tax filing services.  The Internal Revenue Service website has a large section dedicated to the needs of military personnel, their entitlements and obligations when filing their income taxes.

Free Military Tax Filing

The IRS, through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) trains military personnel on bases both in the USA and overseas to help military families submit their income tax papers. They are experienced with such situations as:

  • Completing the military tax exempt form
  • Early retirement
  • The HERO (Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities) program allowing personnel receiving combat pay only for more than 365 days to contribute to IRAs
  • IRA and other retirement plan contribution limits
  • Re-enlistment
  • Non-taxable combat pay
  • Military differential pay for reservists on active service and volunteers sent on active service immediately after training
  • Economic stimulus payments for military families, and
  • Tax entitlements and benefits for reserve (National Guard) members who have been on active service for 180 days or more during the current taxation year.

Military family spouses and dependent children need not have Social Security numbers to qualify for these benefits.

IRA Tax Relief for Military Families

VITA volunteers can also clarify how they can qualify for relief from the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty applied to retirement accounts.

Contact the IRS at 1-800-906-9887 to find out where the VITA volunteers are on your base during tax filing time. VITA volunteers are usually available from the first week of March to April 30. The volunteers travel to the bases and secured US Armed Forces military compounds, in combat zones.

Civilians Employed in Combat Zones

Any civilian that receives a notice of action from the IRS,  while on active duty in a combat zone should return the mail and mark the notice "Combat Zone" in all caps, with their date of deployment below it in red. The items should be sent back to the Internal Revenue Service. Upon receipt of this returned notice, the IRS will suspend the assessment or action.

Filing Date Extensions

VITA volunteers can also assist military families to apply for a tax filing date extension. Military members are not assessed late penalties, for up to 6 months.

Free Electronic Tax Filing

Military personnel can file their tax returns by e-file directly to the IRS through their base headquarters or with a TurboTax military free file. TurboTax is one of several agencies authorized by the IRS to process and submit military income tax e-files at no charge.

The IRS has made a commitment to assist full-time military personnel, reservists called to active service and re-enlistees to serve their country without onerous financial and taxation penalties to themselves and their families.  Contact the IRS office nearest you for more information on any military tax-related questions or procedures for free military income tax filing.

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