IRS Tax Tip 2020-05, January 21, 2020
Active duty military personnel have multiple options for free federal tax preparation. IRS Free File allows taxpayers to prepare and file their federal individual income tax return for free using brand name tax-preparation-and-filing software.
While Free File is for individuals or families whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less last year, there's a special offer for active duty military and their spouses. Members of military and their families who meet the income limitation may choose from any of nine companies without regard to additional eligibility requirements.
Active duty military stationed in combat zones also have more time to file their tax returns. However, those with spouses and families may opt to file as soon as they are able to claim various tax benefits for which they may be eligible. If only one spouse is present to file a joint return, they must have proper authorization to file a joint tax return on behalf of their spouse.
With Free File, you can use any digital device, personal computer, tablet or smart phone. Here's how it works:
- The taxpayer goes to the Free File page on IRS.gov to see all Free File options.
- Military personnel who meet the income requirement can select from any of the nine providers that have "Free for Active Military for Adjusted Gross Income of $69,000 or less" in their offer. Nine of the 10 partners are making the offer. Two products are in Spanish.
- The taxpayer selects a provider and follows the links to their web page to begin their tax return.
- They then complete and e-file their tax return. They will do so only if they have all the income and deduction records needed to file. The fastest way to get a refund is by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. If a taxpayer owes, they can use direct pay or electronic options.