Military members and their families can get free tax help

IRS Tax Tip 2024-10, Feb. 21, 2024

Military personnel who want to file free federal tax returns have several options, including the Department of Defense's MilTax and the IRS Free File program. These programs offer online tax preparation, electronic filing and direct deposit of refunds at no cost.


The Department of Defense provides MilTax as a free tax resource for the military community. MilTax is a suite of tax services available for members of the military, as well as qualifying veterans and family members. There are no income limits.

MilTax is designed exclusively for the military community. The software was developed specifically to address the unique circumstances of military life that can affect taxes such as combat pay and dealing with multiple moves within the same tax year. Eligible taxpayers can use MilTax to complete and electronically file a federal tax return and up to three state returns for free.

IRS Free File

Taxpayers, including active-duty military, with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $79,000 or less in 2023 can find an offer from an IRS Free File provider that matches their needs. Some providers also offer free state tax return preparation. Those with an AGI over the limit can still file their return for free with Free File Fillable Forms.

Get started with IRS Free File

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Explore Free Guided Tax Software button.
  3. Select the Find Your Trusted Partner tool or use the Browse All Trusted Partners tool.
  4. Review each offer.
  5. Select the desired product.
  6. Follow the links to the trusted partner's website.

Military members serving overseas may qualify for extra time to file

Members of the military stationed overseas have more time to file their tax returns. Additional extensions are available for those serving in combat zones. However, those with spouses and families may choose to file as soon as they can to claim any tax benefits. If only one spouse is present to file a joint return, and certain conditions are met, they can file a joint tax return on behalf of their spouse.

IRS Direct File

Taxpayers in 12 states may be eligible to file for free with the IRS Direct File pilot, a new tax filing service from the IRS.

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