Free and Discounted Tax Preparation for Military

An Airman fills out tax forms, Feb. 9, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. (U.S. Air Force photo/Daniel Brosam)
An Airman fills out tax forms, Feb. 9, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. (U.S. Air Force photo/Daniel Brosam)

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The calendar has rolled over to a new year, and it’s time to start thinking about filing tax returns. But even though taxes can get complicated for military families, there are many ways to get it done in an affordable way.

Whether you need some help from a professional or plan to file taxes yourself, check out the following free and discounted options for military personnel and their families.

Military Installation Tax Centers

Many large military installations worldwide offer service members and their families free income tax filing assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which is sponsored by the IRS. VITA sites have volunteers that are trained by the IRS to provide assistance with some of the more complicated military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax exclusions.

Visit's Base Guide to contact your local installation for more information about location of tax centers, hours of operation, scheduling appointments, and necessary documentation.

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is also teaming with H&R Block to offer tax preparation services to military members and their families at a 10% discount in select Exchange locations around the world.

Off-Base Services

Liberty Tax offers special pricing on tax preparation for all active-duty and veteran service members, and they have offices throughout the country. Use coupon code MILITARY25 to redeem, and visit their website to find a location near you to book an appointment.

Online Tax Preparation

Military OneSource provides free tax preparation and filing services and tax consultations through MilTax, a suite of free tax services for the military, including tax preparation and e-filing software, support from tax consultants and current information about filing taxes in the military. MilTax e-filing software is available mid-January through mid-October. 

IRS Free File Software allows you to prepare and file your federal individual income tax return for free using tax-preparation-and-filing software. If your AGI is below $79,000, you can file your taxes with free software and find free state return options. Use Free File Fillable Forms if your income is greater than $79,000. Free File software opens in January 2024.

TaxSlayer has a military offer that allows active-duty military to e-file a federal return for free. (State return is additional.)

TurboTax offers discounts on its software for enlisted military. All enlisted active-duty military and Reservists can file their 2023 federal and state taxes for free with the TurboTax Military discount. (The offer isn't valid for officers and National Guard and excludes TurboTax Live products.)

If you're a USAA member, enlisted members can use TurboTax Online and file taxes for free, and officers can file for free before February 28, 2024. All USAA members can save 20% when filing their federal tax returns with TurboTax.

Necessary Documents

Filing your taxes requires a lot of documents and personal information so make sure to collect everything you’ll need before you get started. The following is a list of some of those necessary records, but if you’re getting outside help, it’s best to call ahead to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

  • Photo ID/Military ID
  • Social security cards for you and each family member claimed on the return
  • Wage and earning statement(s), such as Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R
  • Child care costs
  • Investment income forms
  • Receipts for charitable donations
  • Receipts for deductible expenses
  • Your bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Last year’s returns

W-2 forms are usually available for military members by the end of January and can be downloaded from MyPay website.

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