Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – In honor of Veteran’s Day Friday, tax officials weigh in on benefits that are available to military members retired and active.
Experts say some income may not be taxable, like combat pay. You may also qualify for credits such as child tax credits or earned income credit. Deductions may be available exclusively for military members like moving expenses and uniforms.
When it comes to other forms of income military members receive, Mark Steber, Chief Tax Information Officer of Jackson Hewitt Tax Services says some of that shouldn’t go on your return.
“Home Association grants and things like that, if you just put that on your tax return as taxable, you might be paying too much and it’s really easy to fall in that trap.” Steber said.
Steber says military personnel are in an honorable profession, so often times they will put more than necessary on their tax return, attempting to do the right thing. He mentions however that not all things qualify and it can be a hassle to get it back.
“It’s a mistake to think that the IRS will catch it and pull it off and just send you more money,” Steber said.
Steber suggests going to a tax professional that you trust who will know what things to include, leave out, and deductions you may have.
“Your tax return is your single largest transaction that you’ll have every year,” Steber said. “And even when you retire and start receiving benefits, it’s important to have someone who’s trained and experienced with your situation.”
He advises military personnel to do their homework when choosing a tax professional. Ask questions about what their experience is and rates. He also recommends to stay organized all year round.