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Tax time is here! If you've properly configured your tax withholding, you shouldn't be receiving that large of a tax return. However, we know how crazy the military tax situation can be, with many of our benefits not taxable (BAH, BAS) and some of our pay eligible for Combat Zone Tax Exemption.
The IRS has a lot of information about special military tax situations on their website. Check it out if you're not familiar with some of the credits, exemptions, and tax benefits available to military servicemembers.
Free Online 2012 Tax Filing Services for US Military Personnel
It's always nice to get a big, fat refund check from Uncle Sam: it's even better when you don't have to pay for it! There are several free tax filing options for military members. Here's a few:
Tax Slayer offers free military tax filing for the 2012 tax year. State and federal returns are free.
Military OneSource offers free tax filing through H&R Block for 1 federal return and up to 3 state returns, which is good especially if you change your tax residency in a year, which some military members have to do.
Intuit Tax Freedom offers free federal tax filing services to those who qualify.
Anybody, civilian or military, is eligible for the IRS federal free file service if their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $57,000 or less.
Free In Person Tax Filing Services for Military
Most posts and bases offer VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs. These are free, IRS certified individuals who can help you prepare your tax return and file it for you electronically. Check your base finance office for more details or the IRS Free Tax Prep website.
There are so many free options for military members to file their taxes. If you feel more comfortable paying an accountant to file your taxes, then by all means, do that.
If, however, you're going to file them yourself, then don't pay for expensive software when you are eligible for the same software for free through these programs. Good luck and happy filing!