Yellow sticky note with the words, "Tax time!" written in pink sharpie.

3 Ways to Save More Money This Tax Season

Tax filing season is upon us once again—an opportunity to assess your financial situation, set goals for the year, and find ways to save towards those goals. Here are three easy ways to save money this tax season and get a jumpstart on your savings goals in the New Year:

1. Check Your Withholdings to Find More Money in Your Paycheck

Do you receive a large tax refund every year? If yes, check your tax withholdings and adjust those withholdings to match the number of dependents in your household to receive more money back in your paycheck throughout the year. Receiving a large tax refund is may indicate you’re giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan on your money, so now’s the time to look twice at your refund strategy.

To start, check that the number of your dependents match the number of dependents in your Leave and Earning Statement (or LES) on MyPay? If not, consider adjusting your withholdings. For example, a married service member with two children can claim four dependents, including himself or herself.

Run the numbers on online calculators, such as suburbancomputer.com to see how these changes might impact your paycheck. If receiving a large tax refund (or whatever refund you do receive) during tax season works for you, save a portion of your refund with SaveYourRefund to be entered for a chance to win up to $25,000 in cash prizes! For more information and to learn how to commit to saving prior to start of tax season, visit saveyourrefund.com. Then, take the Military Saves Pledge to identify a goal for that savings.

2. See if You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Service members and families should not overlook the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), “a refundable federal income tax credit for low- and moderate-income working individuals, couples and families.” The IRS estimates that about 20 percent of taxpayers who are eligible for the EITC fail to claim it, or are simply unaware that they qualify. It’s one of the reasons you should always file your taxes, even if you don’t think you owe or will receive money. If you qualify for this tax credit, the money you receive from it may be used to fund your savings goal! Take note of these three things:

    • You can’t get the EITC unless you file a federal tax return and claim it. Visit irs.gov to determine your eligibility and get additional information.
    • If this is the first year that you are claiming the credit, use the IRS EITC Assistant to see if you qualify for tax years 2016, 2015, and 2014. You can file any time during the year to claim an EITC refund for up to three previous tax years. Talk about a bonus!
    • The IRS cannot issue refunds before mid-Feb, 2018 for tax returns that claim the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t file when you normally would. Early filers can make the most of this delay by planning to save that refund and avoiding refund anticipation products, offered by commercial tax preparers. Although they loan the amount of your tax refund to you quickly, the fees will have you seeing red, so filers beware!

3. File Your Taxes for FRE

If your tax return is pretty straightforward, consider using your installation’s free tax filing service. To contact your installation’s tax center, visit the official source for installation and state resources available to you. 

Military OneSource is also available to eligible service members to help with online assistance, resources, and filing.

Set yourself up for financial fitness in 2018 by being aware of these three ways to find and save more money this tax season to achieve your goals. When it comes to saving, every dollar counts!


Are you trying to save money? Let Military Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. We'll keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your savings goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

TAKE THE PLEDGE


3 easy ways to save money this tax season and get a jumpstart on your savings goals in the New Year >> http://bit.ly/2DazYTQ #MilitarySaves

Tweet this now

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | January 26, 2017

    Millions miss out on EITC $$ b/c they don't claim it or don't file taxes at all: http://bit.ly/2hX4Hrl @MilitarySaves

Saver Stories View all »

On the Right Track to Build Wealth

Written by Super User | April 16, 2013

My name is Robina Wahl, and I am a military wife and a veteran. Although I am fairly new to the Military Saves Campaign, the message to “Build Wealth, Not Debt” reassured me that my husband and I were on the right track and doing the right things.

I have always been pretty responsible when it comes to saving and living within my means, but I was not prepared for the unpredictable employment lifestyle of being a Reservist and military spouse.

Read more...

One That Almost Got Away

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Brody Lockwood - Like a typical fledgling, I started down the track of financial indebtedness. Nineteen years old and nothing to lose. Credit - who need it? Savings - that was for older people with responsibility. Debt - my parents were in debt ergo it must be OK. When I was eligible for reenlistment, I reenlisted for a multiple of 3 worth $15K. I was happy to pay off my debt, but would I be able to stay out of debt?

Read more...

Meet Wacinque BeMende

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Meet Wacinque BeMende. He’s so passionate about encouraging savings and promoting financial literacy, he’s established his own Kid’s Savings Program. Wacinque donated $15,000 to the Community Action of Laramie County in Cheyenne Wyoming to begin the Wacinque “ Rhino” Fund Endowment to help kids open savings accounts.

Read more...