DoD

December 5, 2013

DoD: Prepare now for tax season, DoD official advises

WASHINGTON — With a month left before the start of tax season, service members should begin gathering documentation to file their 2013 taxes, said the director of the Pentagon’s Office of Family Policy and Children and Youth.

In a recent interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Barbara Thompson suggested visiting the Military OneSource website for tax filing resources, and to learn what will be necessary to file, such as W2 forms, Social Security numbers and receipts for deductions such as child care, education, medical expenses and donations, among other write-offs.

Tax preparers at Military OneSource will do short-form tax filing free of charge for service members and their Families, Thompson said.

Relocations and deployments have tax implications, Thompson noted. For example, deployed service members can receive an extension to file taxes after the normal April 15 filing date.

“It’s very helpful to have someone who is experienced to help you through the cumbersome issue of taxes and tax returns,” she added.

The tax preparers at Military OneSource are up to date on changes in tax laws, and can answer military-specific questions, Thompson said.

Installations [such as Fort Huachuca] also offer volunteer income tax assistance to service members and their Families, while certain banks and credit unions provide education and training on tax preparation, Thompson said. She advised that service members organize their taxes by starting a file beginning each Jan. 1 for the following year’s tax papers, such as receipts and other write-offs.

“You don’t want to wait until the last minute,” she said.

Service members and Families who prepare long-form taxes with deductions such as mortgages and rental properties might want to consider hiring a tax expert to file for them, Thompson said.

“It’s best to get advice to make sure you have everything covered,” she added.

Additionally, people who do their own taxes need to stay on top of current tax information, Thompson said. “Sometimes tax laws change, so you have to be really smart about doing your own taxes,” she added.

States’ tax laws often vary, too, and because of relocations, some service members have to file local taxes in more than one state, she added.

“That’s where [tax consultants] can really be of great value to make sure you know what the requirements are for states,” Thompson said.

Filing federal and state tax returns usually results in either a tax return or money owed back to the government. Expecting to receive a tax return, but instead finding out that money is owed can be a shock, Thompson said. Looking at W2s to determine how much money in taxes is being withheld is a good indicator of whether or not one will owe money.

Service members who receive a tax return face important decisions on what to do with the money, Thompson said.

“Do you use it to buy down debt, or put it in a savings account?” she asked, advising people to not blow their tax refunds in a spending frenzy of unnecessary purchases.

A tax return is also well-spent in a retirement savings account, she added.

“It’s important to think about what you’re going to do with that money and how you can best utilize it for your financial well-being,” she said.

Meeting with a financial planner to learn the “lay of the land,” and what tax deductions might apply to a service member’s finances is a good idea, Thompson said. “It’s really important to be savvy about that.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
photo-2

USAEPG responds to Army radio test needs

A dismounted tester and a Humvee with the SRW-A radio mounted inside collect evaluation data on the radio is shown with the Huachuca Mountains in the background on Dec. 12. The U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground, USAEPG, recen...
 
 
U.S. Army photo

Army puts Gray Eagle, One System Remote Video Terminal through test

U.S. Army photo The MQ-1C Gray Eagle, the Army’s largest unmanned aircraft system in the inventory, recently underwent follow-on test and evaluation, which culminated June 14 at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Cal...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

HT-JCOE commanders change during June 19 ceremony

From left, outgoing Commander Col. John Boucher, Human Intelligence Training Joint Center of Excellence; Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca; and incoming C...
 

 

BLM Jackson Hotshots hosted at Fort Huachuca for portion of 2015 fire season

TUCSON, Ariz. — The only Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hotshot firefighting crew east of the Mississippi River will be based in southern Arizona for a portion of the 2015 fire season. The 20-member Jackson Hotshot crew from Jackson, Miss. will be housed in the Sierra Vista community thanks to a partnership between BLM and...
 
 

Fort Huachuca Exchange partners with Sears for savings

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is teaming up with Sears to offer military shoppers special savings on cleaning, home improvement and repair services. Fort Huachuca Exchange shoppers can now receive special offers on cleaning services including: carpets, upholstery, protector and deodorizer for carpet and upholstery, title and grout, air ducts, dryer vents and...
 
 
Mike Williams

Monsoon season is here — use caution when going outdoors

Mike Williams Water races across the road near the Bonnie Blink housing area on post during a monsoon storm last summer. Before crossing, be sure your vehicle has the clearance to make it through a wash if it has water in it. E...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>