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Income tax changes have had little effect on military returns

While new forms are still being pushed out for this year's tax filing season, servicemembers and veterans find they have little to no impact on their returns

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly referred to as Obama-Care, has recently had a wide spread impact on this year's income tax filing season. The release of the new 1095 series forms has prevented many tax filers from completing their returns in a time frame that they are used to. Fortunately, military members and veterans need to worry little about the new forms as the impact they have is minimal at best.

While the Veterans Affairs and DFAS have issued 1095 series forms to personnel, these particular forms are not required to file returns for veterans who receive VA healthcare benefits or active-duty servicemembers. In the 1095 form family there are three different forms. Those being issued to the uniformed services and veterans are forms 1095-C. This form is merely informational and has no impact on the taxpayer's return; essentially it is merely written proof that you, the taxpayer, are in fact covered by Tri-Care or VA medical. In fact, there is only one of the three new tax forms that are required to be filed with a tax return.

The required form only affects civilians whom opted to purchase health coverage from a market place. The 1095-A is required due to health coverage payments being created based off of an estimated income. This estimation creates the possibility of over or under coverage and therefore a direct impact on the taxpayer's tax return.

Jana Leuschen, the South Sound Area Manager for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, has explained that all of the major tax preparation companies have noticed many filers are waiting longer to submit their returns this year. "Due to the new health coverage forms not having to be released until late March, many clients are putting off filing until much later in the season;" said Ms. Leuschen.

Servicemembers may choose to print their 1095-C forms from MyPay, however, this variation of the form is not required to be filed with your tax return. The greatest impact that military personnel are missing this year are those of deductions.

As with nearly every previous year, enlisted personnel overlook all of their business-related expenses. Uniform expenses that go beyond the yearly allowance, dry cleaning for dress uniforms, the purchase of ribbons, racks, TA-50, and even the mileage driven between offices and shops for work purposes during duty hours, are all deductible expenses that could greatly increase a soldier's return. While the new healthcare forms have no effect on servicemembers' tax returns, any seasoned tax preparer will be happy to give advice on how to take the maximum deductions to increase your return. 

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