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Financial Planning

Tax Tips For Military Families

2020-06-16

It’s your favorite time of year - tax season!

Okay, maybe it’s not the most fun topic to read about, but there’s some good news for military families: You have access to an array of military-specific tax resources, so take advantage!

Before you can start preparing your tax return, here is a list of the information and documents you’ll likely need:

  • Military ID
  • Social Security numbers (for each family member claimed)
  • Wage and earning statements such as a W-2, W-2G or 1099-R
  • Child care cost information
  • Investment income documentation
  • Receipts for charitable donations
  • Receipts for deductible expenses like reasonable previously un-reimbursed moving expenses
  • Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Last year’s tax returns

W-2 forms for servicemembers are available after February 1. You can download them from MyPay.

When Can My Military Family Get a Filing Extension?

If a member of the Armed Forces is serving outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, they are granted an automatic two-month extension to file their returns. Usually, this makes their tax filing deadline June 15. However, the filing deadline for most 2019 tax forms, including forms from overseas filers, has been extended to July 15, 2020. If the extended deadline is still not enough time, you can request an automatic extension to 15 October by filing IRS Form 4868.The IRS emphasizes that the automatic extension is an extension to file your tax return, not an extension of time to pay any tax owed by the regular due date of the return. They will still charge fees and interest for any late payments.

Combat Zone Filing Deadline Extension

Military members serving in a combat zone (learn more about combat zone tax extensions and exclusions in the Publication 3 (2014), Armed Forces' Tax Guide have an automatic 180-day extension to file and pay, which begins once the service member leaves the combat zone.

If you still have lingering tax-time questions, don't worry! Here are some additional resources:

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

VITA is an IRS-sponsored program available on most military bases and installations where IRS-trained volunteers are available to assist you with military-specific tax questions and issues you may have. To find your location-specific tax office details, check for information available on your base website.

Military OneSource Offers Free H&R Block Tax Service

If you're eligible under the Military OneSource program, you'll be able to complete, save, and file your federal tax return, and up to three state returns online at no cost.

TaxSlayer

Active-duty military members can receive the classic edition of TaxSlayer for free. Click here for more information.

Taxes don't have to be all stress and gloom. Not happy with your current financial plan? Contact your AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust LLC (AWM&T) Relationship Manager today for answers regarding your financial situation. Discover how AWM&T can help. We do the right thing for you - always.

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