Corporate Partners Offer Free Tax Filing Service to Military Members
By Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris M. Hwang, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2006 Military members and their families can now file their taxes for free, thanks to a partnership between a group that helps military people deal with financial issues and a civilian financial services company.
"Military OneSource" has partnered up with Intuit, a financial services company, to provide the TurboTax basic product for federal and state returns at no cost. Military members can download this program and also benefit from tax consultations and have access to appropriate resources. The Military OneSource Web site will provide annual upgrades to the TurboTax software at no cost.
"This tax consultant support for filing 2006 taxes is available telephonically toll free (800-342-9647) and at no cost to the servicemembers from any deployment location in the world," acting Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Jane Burke said. "Military OneSource tax consultants are also familiar with the IRS publication 'Armed Forces Tax Guide.'"
Burke said DoD has a long history of offering tax assistance to military members, but this year the department is offering the opportunity for servicemembers to self-file electronically at no cost, using a popular software product that double checks for accuracy.
"For many years, help has been available at many installations through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program. VITA volunteers will continue to be available through legal centers at most installations. VITA volunteers help servicemembers to file their taxes free of charge," said Burke.
Defense Department personnel noticed the need for a tax filing system that met military members' needs. TurboTax modifies itself based on the customer's information relevant to their unique tax situation. Providing an easier way to file taxes is an important quality-of-life issue, officials said.
"DoD recognizes the reciprocal relationship that binds the military member, the military mission, and military families. The Department is working hard to make a difference in the quality of life of servicemembers and their families," Burke said. "The Military OneSource program, available worldwide 24/7, leverages technology to help servicemembers and their families deal with the stresses of the military lifestyle. Providing access to electronic tax filing with the free telephonic support of a tax consultant is just one of the services offered by the Military OneSource service."
TurboTax customers can expect to see a new and improved way of filing their taxes as well. The easy-to-understand language allows users to feel more confident about the information they receive. Users can also click on an "Explain This" button within the TurboTax Web site to get relevant help. TurboTax also includes timesaving summary screens, allowing users to quickly review and edit their data.
"The department is proud to offer innovative options, like free electronic access to Turbo Tax and telephonic support, for addressing the challenges that military members and their dependents face. The Department of Defense recognizes that families also serve and is committed to supporting military families," Burke said.
(Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris M. Hwang is assigned to Navy Personnel Command.)