Veterans and their families may be eligible to file taxes absolutely free


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The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation’s 2016 individual income tax filing season opens Jan. 19, 2016, with more than 150 million tax returns expected to be filed this year.

People will have several extra days to file their tax returns this year. Taxpayers have until Monday, Apr. 18 to file their 2015 tax returns and pay any tax due because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., falling on Friday, April 15. The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to again receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the IRS issued 109 million refunds, with an average refund of $2,797.

Shown below are several ways Veterans and their families have access to free tax preparation and electronic filing services to keep more of their hard earned money.

  • IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are available to taxpayers that earned less than $54,000 in 2015. More than 3.7 million tax returns were prepared using these services in 2014. All tax returns completed through VITA are prepared by IRS certified volunteers, so you can feel confident your tax return is accurate. Even better, there are over 12,000 convenient locations across the country. To find the VITA location nearest you, enter your zip code into the easy-to-use VITA/TCE Locater.
  • MyFreeTaxes, operating the only free online tax preparation and filing assistance platform available in all 50 states and Washington D.C., who earned $62,000 or less in 2015, allows qualified Veterans, active-duty military, their families and all other qualifying taxpayers to file both a federal and state tax return absolutely free. In addition to e-filing, MyFreeTaxes also provides in-person help to individuals and families earning $20,000 or less in 2015. For more information, please visit: www.myfreetaxes.com. The MyFreeTaxes initiative is managed by United Way, with the assistance from legacy partners, National Disability Institute and Goodwill Industries International, and is sponsored by the Wal-Mart Foundation.

TaxesIn addition to free tax preparation and assistance services like VITA, TCE and MyFreeTaxes, there are several other free options qualifying Veterans and military families can use. However, please make note of additional eligibility requirements, and be advised not all are available in your particular location. Read more about each for information on eligibility and availability of services.

  • IRS.gov/FreeFile serves as a central hub where taxpayers can choose from a variety of industry-leading tax software options in order to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. If you earned $62,000 or less last year, you are eligible to choose from among 13 software products. If you earned more, you are still eligible for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. In fact, more than 70 percent of all taxpayers – 100 million people – are eligible for the software products. Each of the 13 providers has its own special offers, generally based on age, income or state residency. Taxpayers can review each offer or can use the “Help Me” tool to find the tax-filing software they are eligible to use. Free File offers easy-to-use products that ask questions and you supply the answers. The software will find the right forms, tax credits and deductions, and even do the math for you!
  • TurboTax Freedom Editionis available to taxpayers with an income of $31,000 or less, or those eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Second Story TaxAct – to qualify for free tax preparation, a taxpayer’s income must be $50,000 or less, and the filer must be 58 years old or younger.
  • H&R Block’s Free Fileoffers free online assistance for taxpayers who earned $62,000 or less, between 18 and 50 years old as of December 31, 2015.
  • Online Taxes (OLT) – offers free tax preparation services to taxpayers with an income between $13,000 and $62,000 in 2015.

Now, if you have already filed your taxes and want to know when you will receive your refund, be sure to download the IRS app, IRS2Go! This app is available in both English and Spanish and gives taxpayers the ability to check on the status of their tax refund, obtain tax records, find free tax preparation providers, and stay connected with the IRS through social media channels such as YouTube and Twitter.

Please note that VA does not endorse any of these sites, but brings your attention to them as they have free tax services available specifically for Veterans and their families.


Richard Keeling About the author: Richard Keeling is a senior tax analyst at the Internal Revenue Service.

Author

Richard Keeling

Comments

  1. DannyG    

    AARP also has groups that go do taxes for members free!

  2. Rosa Ergas    

    Veterans who make $62,000.00 or less should not be paying taxes. They have already paid with their lives.

  3. Toki Tover    

    This will be nice! I am a military spouse and veteran, I wonder if this would still apply to me. I will surely try the VITA, myfreetaxes and the HR block. I cost me $80 last year to file!

  4. Jerry Greenberg    

    Disabled vets should not have their disability income counted against them to qualify for any state, local, or federal programs. Not fot tax help, scolarships, real estate tax exemptions, etc. Being a disabled vet carries its own lifetime tax that other citizens don’t have to pay. Permanent loss of career, physical and mental suffering and paying for the many services that are not covered by the VA. We’ve born the burden for the country. We’re the “other one-percenters.” A simple law could change things. Let’s tell our elected reps: don’t count a disabled vet’s disability income sources against them when they apply for any income based government-administered programs! It’s the fair and right thing to do.

  5. Teresa M Hogan    

    The VA is doing great but why won’t they ever answer me about my active duty. I was raped, sexually assaulted etc. Nobody no first class petty officers in charge. Nobody in my chain of command cared. I was only 19 and nieve. It helped ruin my Navy career. Bad choices nobody listened but my friends. This was in 1977-1980

    1. P.Collins    

      I’m sorry to hear what happen to you. This is probably not going to help but I understand a little about reporting something like that to someone in the navy. I was stationed in NAS Jacksonville,Fl. back in the late sixties. I dated a girl that worked in the personnel dept. She told me her division officer was always trying to get her up against a filing cabinet or some where he could grop her..She told him to quit but wouldn’t stop sexually harrassing her even though he was married. I told her to report him. She qickly respond he’s my division offficer he’s the one I’m suppose to report it to. We both were in our late teens and also nieve. Again I feel bad for you and other women who have to put up with jerks that think they can take advantage of women in the service and also in civilian jobs.

  6. Frederick A. Bucci    

    Teresa,

    I’m sorry on behalf of the military what you have gone through. How far up the ladder did you take this? Unfortunately the statue of limitations prohibits you from filing any charges against your attacker(s)! You have the option to bring this situation back to life and publicly accuse those responsible for not assisting you or you can lay it to rest and help other victims deal with there situation. The choice is yours. I would support you no matter which route you pursue. Please visit my website at http://www.fcmop.homestead.com. I have a links page for all branches of the service. Maybe, their is something out there that can help you.

    Respectfully,

    Fred “SARGE” Bucci
    US Army Retired

  7. Margaret M Pratt    

    My husband died in 1998 from Agent Orange exposure and as a result he died of Kidney Cancer, also developed diabetes, sores on his body and other issues. After his death I filed for VA benefits, but was denied, in fact, I filed for 12 years before they finally approved the benefits, but they did not give me retro benefits. In 2010 I was approved but they only gave me retro benefits for that year and not back to 1998 when I first filed. After my husband died I gave up my house to VA, but now I’m being told that VA should have paid for the house in full and that I should not have moved out. I admit, I was pretty ignorant to the process and when they gave me one year back benefits I was so frustrated I did not have the energy to appeal for the whole 12 years of retro benefits. It took me a long time to get through the death of my husband, and now I’ve been encouraged to question the decision of VA not to grant those lost benefits. Do I have the right to try and get those benefits, and is there someone out there who had the same challenge as I did, did you file and was it successful.

  8. Denise Chaillot    

    ALL VERERANS should receive EVERYTHING FREE!!! They should be treated like royalty, instead of falling thru the cracks of homelessness, and slacking medical care. Their housing, utilities, groceries, medical care ( not all if their medcal care is free),everything should be free for our Military. Quit SOUNDING LIKE youre doing them a favor. Its time WE the People, RETURN the favor to them, in spades!

  9. Mike    

    I’m a homeless veteran not by choose. I contacted the VA for help, they didn’t know anything about grants. All they did was give me a list of places and pretty much wished me good luck.

Comments are closed.