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Military Family Tax 101: Start With What You Control

By newadmin / Published on Sunday, 04 Feb 2018 07:40 AM / No Comments / 8 views


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“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin

It’s more than just a quote when it comes to taxes, it is real life, and for military families, it can cause a lot of anxiety. Many variables often play into the equation. Combat pay, multiple state residencies, dual active and blended families to just name a few. I recently was able to have a tax professional who deals primarily with military families, Kristen Morgan, give insightful tips which can help ease the anxiety and hopefully increase the refund. We will visit them over the next few articles. Part one: know your information.

  • Protect your identity.&nbsp;In a world of technology where anything is out for grabs, identity theft has become an enormous disease of the cyber world. A 2017 Identity Fraud Study, by Javelin Strategy &amp; Research, shows $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million consumers in 2016. This is an increase of almost $1 billion in just a year.
    • Many military members find critical information such as social security numbers and addresses easily accessed by others. Taking the time to ensure to be diligent in sharing information when signing up for bank accounts, moving to new duty stations, and signing up for utilities, can help elevate the information sharing. Provision of full social security numbers is&nbsp;a thing of the past. Using the last four should be the option. Also, most military id cards now have Department of Defense identification&nbsp;numbers which can be used for medical care.
    • Other options for families include looking into products like Life Lock. This item gives monthly updates when new things appear on your credit report. Also, an annual credit check is essential. Credit is a large part of military member’s career. Clearances and promotions can be negatively affected by adverse credit. Staying diligent important.
  • Make sure the preparer is registered with the IRS. By checking the following website, https://irs.treasury.gov/rpo/rpo.jsf, military members, and family members can make sure they are dealing with a professional from the beginning. A lot of times, we want to cut corners and save money, and this leads to audits and frustration in the long run. This web also credentials and can help a tax preparer be located by location.
  • Deployed service members can receive an&nbsp;extension. It is essential to know the filing deadline is April 17, 2018, and everyone should always to try and file by this date. But for military families sometimes there are extenuating circumstances for not meeting the deadline. It is imperative for the service member and spouse, if applicable, to know their options. Services members can also get a Power Of Attorney (POA) for a spouse who may want to file taxes before the service member returns home. If using a company such as H&amp;R Block or Jackson Hewitt, do the diligent research to have the proper paperwork for the spouse to file. Deployment is hard enough,&nbsp;make sure to have a solid communicated game plan if the tax season falls during a deployment timeframe.

We have just started to uncover tips which can alleviate stress in this series; however, the underlying principle will always be, excellent&nbsp;communication validated information, and application is ethical rules to follow for military families.

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Shutterstock

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin

It’s more than just a quote when it comes to taxes, it is real life, and for military families, it can cause a lot of anxiety. Many variables often play into the equation. Combat pay, multiple state residencies, dual active and blended families to just name a few. I recently was able to have a tax professional who deals primarily with military families, Kristen Morgan, give insightful tips which can help ease the anxiety and hopefully increase the refund. We will visit them over the next few articles. Part one: know your information.

  • Protect your identity. In a world of technology where anything is out for grabs, identity theft has become an enormous disease of the cyber world. A 2017 Identity Fraud Study, by Javelin Strategy & Research, shows $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million consumers in 2016. This is an increase of almost $1 billion in just a year.
    • Many military members find critical information such as social security numbers and addresses easily accessed by others. Taking the time to ensure to be diligent in sharing information when signing up for bank accounts, moving to new duty stations, and signing up for utilities, can help elevate the information sharing. Provision of full social security numbers is a thing of the past. Using the last four should be the option. Also, most military id cards now have Department of Defense identification numbers which can be used for medical care.
    • Other options for families include looking into products like Life Lock. This item gives monthly updates when new things appear on your credit report. Also, an annual credit check is essential. Credit is a large part of military member’s career. Clearances and promotions can be negatively affected by adverse credit. Staying diligent important.
  • Make sure the preparer is registered with the IRS. By checking the following website, https://irs.treasury.gov/rpo/rpo.jsf, military members, and family members can make sure they are dealing with a professional from the beginning. A lot of times, we want to cut corners and save money, and this leads to audits and frustration in the long run. This web also credentials and can help a tax preparer be located by location.
  • Deployed service members can receive an extension. It is essential to know the filing deadline is April 17, 2018, and everyone should always to try and file by this date. But for military families sometimes there are extenuating circumstances for not meeting the deadline. It is imperative for the service member and spouse, if applicable, to know their options. Services members can also get a Power Of Attorney (POA) for a spouse who may want to file taxes before the service member returns home. If using a company such as H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt, do the diligent research to have the proper paperwork for the spouse to file. Deployment is hard enough, make sure to have a solid communicated game plan if the tax season falls during a deployment timeframe.

We have just started to uncover tips which can alleviate stress in this series; however, the underlying principle will always be, excellent communication validated information, and application is ethical rules to follow for military families.

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