Local experts offer tax tips to military families ahead of Veterans Day

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 8:26 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - With Veterans Day 2022 approaching, local tax experts are offering up tax tips for veterans and their families.

“One out of four military families qualify for the earned income credit and/or child tax credits: for the earned income credit, they could actually qualify for almost $7,000,” said Karyn Campbell, Senior General Manager, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

Campbell, who works in Temple, says now that we’re in a post-pandemic world, everyone’s taxes are going to take a hit.

“This year, don’t expect your tax return to look anything like it did last year because, unfortunately, it’s just not going to,” said Campbell.

However, she says there’s additional tax benefits available for some military families, especially the families of disabled veterans.

“There’s some credits out there for disabled veterans, it’s called ‘retroactive disability pay,’” said Campbell. “When a veteran is classified as ‘disabled,’ there’s a certain percentage at that point—when that percentage changes or increases, we can actually back track the prior year date, depending on how the VA sets that up, and actually show ‘X’ amount of income as actually being non-taxable.”

As far as property taxes, in Texas, 100 percent disabled veterans are 100 percent exempt, and vets who are 10-90 percent disabled received exemptions anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, companies who hire veterans who are disabled, unemployed or on food stamps (and varying combinations) can get tax credits ranging from $2,400 to $9,600.

Campbell says it’s important for veterans to know what their refund might look like now so they can make adjustments to federal withholdings if they need to.

“What I would recommend heading into this tax season is knowing your situation, have you had any big life changes,” said Campbell.

Veterans can go into any Jackson Hewitt location in Temple or Killeen to work up a ‘dummy tax return’ to find out where they stand, Campbell says.

She also has advice for soldiers who are deployed.

“If you are deployed, and we’ve had quite a few soldiers this year that have been deployed...their combat pay is not taxable, but their combat pay can be used to determine the earned income credit,” said Campbell. “I don’t know if a lot of folks understand that, but you can use your combat pay to determine you’re earned income credit because EIC is based on your actual income, so if you’re deployed for the entire year, for example, you’d have zero taxable income, and that’s not going to get you any credits, so you’d want to use your combat pay to generate those credits for yourself.”