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.


 
 

 
Lisa Ferdinando

Army releases latest policies on female hairstyles, tattoos

Lisa Ferdinando 1st Sgt. Aki Paylor won’t have any trouble recalling the Warrior Ethos. “For me, the Warrior Ethos — that’s who I am.” Since all of Paylor’s tattoos were done a number of years ago, he’s grandfathe...
 
 

Combined Federal Campaign now underway on FH

The annual Combined Federal Campaign, CFC, is currently underway and ends Dec. 1. The CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country to help raise millions of dollars each year, officials say. This year’s theme is “We Make it Possible.” Donations made...
 
 

It’s a Thin Line for prescription use, misuse, abuse; dispose of unused drugs Sept. 27

SAN ANTONIO — Nearly one out of 20 Soldiers misuse painkillers, says the website Army Thin Line. The website is part of a campaign designed to educate Soldiers, their friends and Families and the provider community about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Army Thin Line encourages safe and responsible decisions when using...
 

 
PatriotDay1_20140911_Hidalgo

Fort Huachuca Community remembers the fallen

Soldiers place the wreaths for the Patriot Day Ceremony at Brown Parade Field on Fort Huachuca Sept. 11. The wreaths honored all who fell during the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Fort Huachuca firefighters raise the American Flag at...
 
 
Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM

NETCOM honors deceased members during special ceremony

Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM From left, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., Network Enterprise Technology Command commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson, NETCOM command sergeant major, and Spc. Kyle Baker, NETCOM Headq...
 
 

Army Reserve training brigade moves to Fort Huachuca

Headquarters, 1st Brigade (Military Intelligence) 100th Training Division (Operational Support) will possibly relocate from Providence, Rhode Island, to Fort Huachuca pending approval from the Department of the Army. If approved, this action will transfer 72 positions here. Fifty-eight of those positions will be part-time reservists who will only be here one weekend a month for...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin