Service members and military families have access to several tax services, but before filing you need to know a few things. Like, what documents are required, what are your rights as an employee or independent contractor, and, of course, where can you file (for free in some cases)?
We put together some quick tax-filing resources to help service members and their families expedite the process — and no, we cannot speed up how fast Uncle Sam sends your refund.
Step one: The W-2s
If you work for the Department of Defense as a uniformed service member or civilian, or if you are now a retiree, DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting System) is responsible for releasing your 2022 tax statements. Below is the list of when the statements are released by branch, but you must have a login for myPay to access it.
The rundown of when tax statements are released by branch:
- Annuitant 1099-R – available now
- Military Retiree 1099-R – available now
- Former Spouse 1099-R – available now
- Civilian Certificate for Income Tax Adjustment – available now
- Reserve Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force W-2 – available now
- Navy Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) W-2 – available now
- Army Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) Civilian W-2 – available now
- Active/Reserve Marine Corps W-2 – available now
- Military/Military Retiree IRS Form 1095 – available now
- Civilian (DOD/Non-DOD) W-2 – available Jan. 19
- Civilian (DOD/Non-DOD) IRS Form 1095 – available Jan. 20
- Travel Pay 1099INT – Jan. 23
- Army Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) W-2 – Jan. 24
- Active Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force W-2 – Jan. 24
- Savings Deposit Program (SDP) 1099INT – Jan. 27
- Travel/Miscellaneous W-2 – Jan. 31
The full list can be found at the 2022 myPay Tax Statement Schedule.
Step two: Civilian tax documents
If you have other sources of income, employers have until Jan. 31, 2023, to send W-2s, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Examples of other items you might need to file are college tuition statements, bank statements, receipts and mortgage interest statements.
When in doubt, ask professionals at Military OneSource (for free). Contact them at 800-342-9647.
Step three: Where can you file as a military member and military family (hopefully for free)
After you have gathered your tax documents, decide if you are going to file for yourself or use an external agency. Military ID card holders have a few options for free or discounted filing:
- Installation tax centers: Look up your installation’s information by clicking here. In most cases, you can set an appointment or walk-in.
- Military OneSource offers free tax-filing support through its MilTax program. [We have personally used it and it is so easy to navigate]. In addition to the e-filing software, MOS also offers consultants who can assist you. Click here to learn more: MilTax. Note: In order to utilize this service, you must first establish a free account with Military OneSource. Click here to get started.
- IRS Free File – for any taxpayers with an income less than $66,000. Access free fillable forms after Jan. 28.
- TaxAct – free federal and state filing for active duty.
- TaxSlayer – free federal filing for all military.
- TurboTax – offers free federal and state tax filing for E1 – E9.
Make sure you file federal income taxes no later than April 15, 2023. In order to receive a six-month extension, you must file this form.
Step four: When will you get your refund?
The IRS confirms on its site that it will start processing tax returns on Jan. 23 and refunds will be issued on scheduled. Check back for updates.
Also, and we cannot stress this enough, as awesome as it is to receive a nice chunk of money, put some thought into what you plan to do with it. Installations around the U.S. have personal finance counselors and Military One Source has representatives who you can speak with over the phone. We’re not saying you should hold off on planning that Disney getaway, just don’t have the full refund spent before it even hits your account.Read comments