With tax season upon us, members of the military are looking to take advantage of several federal tax benefits. In addition to cuts and credits, military personnel can enjoy free filing services, tax advice and special deadlines. These benefits extend to all branches of the military, veterans, and even the recently retired and newly divorced.
Military families going through a divorce will likely want to know more about these benefits and their eligibility.
Federal tax breaks for military families
The following resources and benefits are available to former and current military members and their families:
- IRS Free File: This program offers free filing to any U.S. citizen making under $69,000. Military families that qualify may choose to work with any of nine different tax filing companies.
- Military OneSource: A wide range of free services are available for members of the military with OneSource, including free online filing.
- In-person tax preparation: The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has helped millions of Americans with their taxes for 50 years. Last year, 11,000 sites helped prepare 100,000 returns.
- Special filing rules: If stationed in a combat zone, active-duty members have more time to file their returns. Military spouses may also file a joint return on behalf of their spouse.
- Earned income tax credit: Eligible taxpayers may receive up to $6,557 in federal refund credit.
Eligibility of military exes
Recently separated military spouses may also benefit from these services. To qualify, a spouse must adhere to the 10/10 rule. This rule dictates that military spouses may collect court-ordered military benefits (including tax benefits) if they have been married for at least 10 years and that the servicemember completed 10 years of service during that time.
Proper protection, secure benefits
Those going through a military divorce have found success securing the services of a local lawyer experienced in such matters. Knowledgeable legal assistance can help represent a client’s best interests in court, allowing a family to focus on healing during a divorce.