Military Spouses & Benefits
Knowing the support benefits that are afforded to a military spouse and family members of U.S. force active duty service members and veterans can provide you with significant financial advantages.
Many useful guides can offer support on deployment, education, careers, relocation, taxation and more. Consulting a checklist for military members will get you pointed in the right direction for discovering what benefit programs can be a good fit for your personal or family needs.
Another great resource for military spouses is the newbie checklist for military spouses that offers the husband or wife of a service member many benefits including, access to base recreation facilities, on base shopping privileges, health care, and and other beneficial programs.
military spouse guides are a great go-to source for tax time
help, education, and job sources that can alleviate the stresses
that sometimes come with the confusion tied to being a mobile
There are many tax questions:
What new tax law changes exist?
What education support can I get?
What can I deduct?
Who can I claim?
Then there's tax questions tied to being the spouse of a deployed service member:
How do I file our joint return with my deployed service member spouse?
What state do we file our taxes in?
What benefits are available that we allowed to take as a military family?
Tax Tips and Benefits for Military Spouses and Their Families
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers an Armed Forces' Tax Guide - IRS Publication 3, that answers most commonly asked questions, and summarizes many important military-related tax topics. This publication can also be ordered by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act that was
signed into law on November 11, 2009, gave military spouses the
choice to be treated as if they still lived in their previous state.
This was a big benefit if their previous state had lower tax rates —
or no state income tax. Prior to 2009 military spouses generally had
to pay income taxes in the states where their spouse was deployed.
TurboTax Military Tax Software is a great tool to help you with tax laws that vary from state to state. This FREE product will help you decipher tax laws and filing benefits for selecting the state you file in.
Many factors can influence which state you choose to file your tax return in, including where you currently have your:
- voter registration
- auto registration
- in-state college savings plans
- in-state college tuition savings
- insurance: car, home, health, etc.
- estate plans and wills
- powers of attorney
- business and professional licenses
The military provides allowances to deployed active duty members to help offset the cost of living as addition support over salary and bonuses. These allowances provided for specific needs like housing and food.
When your spouse is deployed, you have access 24/7 to W2 and other pertinent tax information via MyPay to help you prepare your taxes. Typically joint returns must be signed by both spouses, but if a service member is away on duty, they can legally grant you power of attorney to act on their behalf and file the joint return themselves.
Free Military Tax Preparation
Veterans and soldiers can take advantage of free military tax preparation options. Most military installations offer tax support to service members and their families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). These services can be accessed for free, and give you the option of filing yourself. Other no cost options with expert help include the TurboTax Military Tax Software Edition and Military One Source offered thru H&R Block at Home®. An additional benefit come tax time for military pay is that most allowances are non-taxable. This can certainly help you keep your tax bill to a minimum.
Military Spouses and Education Benefits
Military Spouse No-Cost Education is available for eligible military spouses
to receive up to $4,000 in financial assistance for a no-cost
Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) is also
referred to as Spouse Tuition Assistance for education.
The (MyCAA) program provides assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to portable career field employment. Contact MilitaryOneSource 1-800-342-9647 for education counseling and alternative education funding sources.
Military Spouse Tuition Assistance and Scholarships. Military Spouses Can Earn their Degree with Military Friendly Schools.
Opportunities like Allied American University (AAU)'s Online Education Programs for Military Spouses are great benefits to military spouses when they enroll in an AAU degree program. With these programs, you never have to leave home or go to a physical campus. Everything is done online from enrollment to final exams. Complete your degree from anywhere in the world. With Allied.edu, Military Spouses get an education that is designed to fit their current schedule and provide a convenient way to earn your associate degree or bachelor's degree online at your pace.