A new year means a new start for many active duty military members and veterans, but it also means it’s time to file taxes. Many soldiers and sailors choose between TurboTax, which provides online filing options, or H&R Block to talk to someone in person. Taxes can be a complicated matter, and if done incorrectly, could lead to financial and legal troubles. W-2s are usually mailed out around February to active duty and reservists. There have been cases of delays in the past.
Turbo tax has an online form that allows people to enter their information easily and at their own pace. The pages are set up to walk individuals and families through each section, paying special attention to discounts and deductions. Many military members are due for a fairly nice tax return.
Most active duty members, and reservist can tell you they pay a lot of taxes each month. One look at their LES and you can see the amount of federal taxes can easily be between $200 to $400 each month. Most members are not aware that they are paying more in taxes then their current tax bracket requires. Because of the excessive amounts, coupled with those claiming dependents or work related expenses, some military members receive $5000 to $10,000 once the tax filing process is completed.
For those members with savings accounts, IRA’s, stock investments, and other financially complicated accounts, talking to an accountant can save time, money, and stress. H&R Block starts to employ accountants as the new year progresses and as filings begin to increase. The accountants are usually very knowledgable and will do everything in their power to priced either a high tax return, or a low owed tax amount. Military members can use Turbo Tax, H&R Block or an individual accountant depending on their needs.
For many, 2012 will be a great opportunity to get a little money back from the government. But for veterans, that may not be the case. Depending on the type of job, and the state, many veterans may be struggling to pay the owed tax amount. If this is the case, there are a few options available. Some have the option to defer payment to the government for a few months. This can be a difficult task to achieve, and may not provide enough time to collect the money. It is usually a good idea to put a percentage away each month into a separate savings account so the money accumulates slowly over the year. By the time the taxes are filed, the savings account should be set to pay.
No one enjoyed paying taxes, but there are many options to help people. TurboTax has provided free services for some in the past, and H&R Block has also offered guaranteed amounts regardless of the governments decision. Make sure to get completely informed on all saving, and opportunities before making a decision.
As the month progress, up until April 15th, this article will be updated with more information of services, discounts and information as it becomes available.
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