Lethality

Service Members Reap Benefits of Tax Law Changes

Feb. 4, 2019 | BY C. Todd Lopez

Recent changes in tax law mean that many in uniform could see big returns when they file their 2018 taxes.

"This last tax year has been quite exciting with all of the changes that occurred to it," said Army Lt. Col. David Dulaney, executive director of the Armed Forces Tax Council. "The good news is that most of our service members should see a substantial reduction in their overall federal taxes for 2018."

One way service members can maximize their tax refund is to log onto Military OneSource and take advantage of MilTax, a free suite of services designed specifically for service members. MilTax includes personalized support from tax consultants and easy-to-use tax preparation and e-filing software.

The Military OneSource logo
Military OneSource
Military OneSource
Photo By: Military OneSource
VIRIN: 190201-D-ZZ999-002C

  • MilTax is available to active-duty, reserve and National Guard service members. Additionally, thanks to new language in the National Defense Authorization Act, "service" has been expanded to included transitioning service members — those who have separated or retired will be able to make use of MilTax for up to a year after leaving the military.
  • MilTax is available through www.militaryonesource.mil and includes online tax preparation software designed specifically for military personnel and the unique circumstances that surround military life.
  • Through Military OneSource and MilTax, service members have access to expert tax consultants specially trained to address tax issues related to military service. During tax season, consultants are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the Eastern time zone at 800-342-9647.
  • Using MilTax, eligible individuals can file one federal and up to three state tax returns through the Military OneSource website. The service is available now through Oct. 15, 2019, for extended filers.
  • At some installations, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, allows service members to sit down face to face with a tax professional to help prepare their tax forms.
  • All service members are required to pay taxes. Military service doesn't mean service members don't have to pay. Fortunately, MilTax is free to those eligible to use it.

A sign advertises tax preparation services.
Tax Assistance
A sign advertises tax preparation services at Camp Pendleton, Calif. According to Internal Revenue Service Fact Sheet 2003-11, service members returning from a deployment, or serving away from their permanent duty station in a qualified hazardous duty area, are entitled to extra time for filing their taxes.
Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Daniel Boothe
VIRIN: 100505-M-9234B-002

"One of the worst things we can hear is a military service member went out and paid for tax services that we provide for free through the DOD," said Erika R. Slaton, program deputy for Military OneSource. "We want to ensure our service members and families know they are supported and we provide the best possible support for them in completing their tax services."

Click here for information on changes to tax laws that affect service members and their spouses.