12 Dec Tax Assistance Help for Veterans
Does dealing with your taxes feel overwhelming? Not sure where to start? There are tax assistance programs that can help Veterans file their taxes and save money.
Veteran Tax Assistance Programs
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) provides free income tax filing services for veterans and their spouses. Through this service, veterans can receive free tax consultation and preparation services in person at VITA locations across the country. VITA is typically available for individuals who make $60,000 or less, individuals with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers.
You can find a VITA location near you, or call 800-342-9647 for a personalized consultation.
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
TCE is another IRS volunteer program that provides free tax return preparation for individuals 60 years of age or older. TCE specializes in pension and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
Here is a list of everything you will need to bring to an appointment with either VITA or TCE and the closest VITA or TCE location to you can be found here.
- IRS Free File
IRS Free File is a program that provides access to all available tax forms and filing software you may need for free. If you made $69,000 or less in 2019, you qualify for access to tax filing software. Some of these software providers also offer tax return preparation and electronic filing services for free. If you made more than $69,000 you will not have access to the filing software, but you can get access to all IRS forms you may need.
MilTax is a Military OneSource free filing service available to veterans in their first year out of service. MilTax provides access to tax consultants who are experts in tax issues surrounding deployment, combat pay, and multi-state filing. The expert consultants with MilTax are a great resource for veterans looking for individualized help on what tax credits and deductions are available to them.
MilTax and VITA have partnered together to provide veterans with two filing options: veterans can either sit down with a tax professional at a VITA location and self-file their tax returns with assistance from the professional. Or, veterans can drop off their forms at a VITA location and return at a scheduled time to complete their tax filing.
VITA and MilTax also offer free electronic filing services for those who do not want to go to a physical location and get in-person assistance.
- Combat Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016
This federal law protects veterans who were injured during service and received a one-time lump sum disability severance payment from being taxed on that payment. For veterans who have been taxed on these severance payments, it is possible to get a tax refund.
To receive your refund, complete this IRS 1040-X form for the year the disability severance payment was made. Find instructions on how to fill out this form here. You can also contact the National Archives and Records Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs for help filling out these forms, or if you need copies of required documentation.
- Programs for Veterans Who are Unhoused
In addition to providing healthcare, housing solutions, and employment opportunities for veterans who are unhoused or veterans at risk of losing their homes, the VA also provides tax assistance services and programs.
Many VAs also partner with Community Resource and Referral Centers to provide free tax preparation services to Veterans who are unhoused.
For more information on what tax assistance programs are available for veterans, check out this IRS page: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/information-for-veterans.
Veteran Tax Credits
A tax credit reduces the taxes that you owe. A tax deduction lowers your taxable income, so you pay less taxes.
However, one that can be particularly helpful for Veterans is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EETC). The EETC is a credit available to low or moderate income individuals. This can reduce tax liability and is meant to give Veterans an opportunity to build their savings and financial security.
The EITC is typically available to individuals who earned less than $59,187 in the past year and have an investment income under $10,300 for the 2022 tax year. There are additional rules for veterans who were stationed outside the United States or get nontaxable military pay such as combat pay or a housing allowance. You can learn more about these additional rules here.
For more information on different types of tax credits you may qualify for, including those available to veterans, see here.
When faced with a cancer diagnosis, understanding these programs can ease some of the financial burden Veterans may be experiencing. For more information and resources for Veterans, visit the Military, Veterans & Cancer Resource Hub.
About Triage Cancer
Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit providing free education to people diagnosed with cancer, caregivers, and health care professionals on cancer-related legal and practical issues. Through events, materials, and resources, Triage Cancer is dedicated to helping people move beyond diagnosis.
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