Free Tax Preparation Software and Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

February 15, 2011

Free Tax Preparation Software. Military OneSource, once again, is offering free 2010 tax preparation software: a customized version of the basic H&R Block At-Home® electronic tax filing product. You’ll receive free federal filing and up to 3 free state filings.  You’ll also have access to a tax consultant 7 days a week from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM ET.  This is available to active duty, Guard and Reserve service members and their families. Users must be registered with Military OneSource in order to use the service. You can then access the program through the Military OneSource website.

Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, Public Law No. 11197. Although the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act became law on November 11, 2009 and began applying to 2009 taxes, the impact of the law on military families is worth another mention.   Prior to the law’s existence, military spouses were required to file state taxes for the state in which they lived if they earned non-military income during a military assignment.  That created a situation whereby the military member might and often did, file taxes in one state (his or her domicile as indicated on the LES) and the military spouse filed state taxes in another state (the state in which the family was currently living).  A very frustrating situation, indeed.

The law now allows the military spouse to claim the same domicile as his or her military member spouse as long as certain criteria specified in the law are met.  For more information on the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, go to Summary for Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.  It’s also important that you access your state’s tax department on this issue.