As tax season fast approaches, a lot of people are looking into ways that they can save on their tax liability and take advantage of the wide range of deductions, tax credits, and other ways that you can save on your taxes. Many people are especially confused as a tax reform bill recently passed the Congress and was signed into law. While these changes will likely have a big effect on a lot of people across a range of different income brackets, the law doesn’t go into effect until next year. For that reason, we are not going to focus on any specific changes and how they might affect how much you receive on your tax return as it won’t affect this year’s payments in any way.
If you are a veteran, whether you are disabled or simply no longer an active duty soldier, there are a number of different tax credits, write-offs, and types of income that are tax-free that you should learn about and take advantage of. These benefits are just another way that we can “give back” a little to our veterans, by reducing their burden a bit and providing certain benefits as tax-free. If you are a veteran, you want to make sure that you take advantage of every tax credit and deduction that you qualify for, as this will ultimately lead to more money in your pocket.
Many veterans actually qualify for a tax return so these credits and other benefits are also a way that cash ends up directly in a former soldier’s pocket. It just makes sense that you take advantage of any benefit that has been set aside for you. A lot of veterans are unaware of the different credits and benefits that they might qualify for, thus costing them money each year at tax time. It also helps to ensure that you aren’t taxed on income that is not actually subject to taxation.
What follows is a brief guide on the ways to maximize your refund and take advantage of all the perks and benefits available to you as a veteran. It should be noted that some of these credits and exemptions will change at various points in time, but these tips to help maximize your refund will be good general guidelines, even in the event of small changes to the rules.
First, it helps to define what actually qualifies as a veteran. For taxation and governmental purposes, you must have served as an active duty or full-time member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and so on. What’s more, you must have been continuously active for at least 24 months. You also may not have been dishonorably released. This status nullifies your veteran status. When it comes to taxation, the spouse and children, and sometimes parents, of a deceased or disabled veteran will qualify to take advantage of benefits, payments, and other tax perks.
Something that a lot of veterans don’t know is that many places provide free tax services to veterans and military personnel. It is advised that you take advantage of these services if they are offered in your area. Professional tax services know all the latest changes, deductions, and ways to maximize the refund payment you can expect.
While veterans qualify for a host of benefits that are open to only fellow veterans, they often forget that they can still take advantage of all the other tax credits out there that civilians take advantage of. This means deductions of work expenses and possibly even the [highlight color=”green”] Earned Income Tax Credit [/highlight]which can substantially increase the amount refunded in a given year.
One of the things that should be kept in mind is that for any veteran-specific benefit or tax credit, you are likely going to have to provide proof of your veteran status, which is why it is so important to have all documents and identification cards and if you are missing any vital piece of information, you will want to contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs immediately to obtain replacements.
You will also want to make sure that you look into individual eligibility requirements for any potential tax credit. They all have their own set of requirements in order to qualify and you may not meet them all, even if you are considered a disabled veteran. It is important not to assume that you will be eligible for a benefit simply by virtue of your being a veteran.
If you are a veteran or you are the spouse, parent, or child of a deceased or disabled veteran, it is important that you know the benefits that you and your family may be entitled to and that may not have to be included as taxable income. This includes disability pensions, disability compensation, and financial aid from a grant through the GI Bill.
Unfortunately, tax rules tend to change regularly and with them, the amount and types of benefits that will be available for veterans and their families. It is important to stay abreast of the latest changes to the tax code and rules so that you understand how they may or may not affect you come tax time next year. Unless it is your job, nobody will be a tax expert. But with a bit of effort, you can at least stay on top of the changes to the code or rules that affect you personally.
A tax professional is better able to help you figure out all the different deductions or credits that you might qualify for. If you are a disabled veteran, there are expenses that you can write off, benefits that you are eligible for, and tax credits that can help lower your tax burden or increase the size of the refund you can expect to get in a given year. There are tons of perks that are provided for veterans as small ways of providing thanks for the sacrifice and service these brave people have made for their country. All veterans and their family members should take advantage of every benefit provided.