Tax Time Savings

Tax season is swiftly upon us and soon taxpayers will be preparing to file their taxes and planning for their refunds. The IRS estimates that 20 percent of taxpayers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) fail to claim it, which could mean the difference between getting ahead or staying in the red in 2018. Making sure that taxpayers are aware of the credits and assistance available to them, as well as the impact that delays may have on their refund plans, has never been more important.

Please share the article, social media content, and resources provided in this partner packet with your constituents, your partners, and the general public. As always, please encourage individuals to take the Military Saves Pledge—an important step in creating a plan to reach their savings or debt reduction goals. After all, those with a plan are more likely to achieve their goals!

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In this Packet

Sample Article

Social Media Content

Tools and Resources

Sample Article

For use in communications that directly reach your constituents. We encourage you to use its contents as a guest post or rewrite it as your own.

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 may indicate that you're giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan on your money, so now's the time to take a second look 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 $10,000 in cash prizes!

For more information and to learn how to commit to saving prior to the 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), "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 2017, 2016, and 2015. 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 FREE 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!

Alecia D. Blair is the Director of Military Saves, a nonprofit program, which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.

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Social Media Content

Share the following messages with your followers.

Commit to save a portion of your tax refund and share your savings goal, and you could win one of 102 prizes up to $10,000 with @SaveYourRefund >> http://bit.ly/2CEYMWj h/t @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday

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Jump-start your savings with your tax refund. Check out these tax refund tips from @USAAEF >> http://bit.ly/2lW2LU6 #SavingsTipTuesday

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Saving for a rainy day? Put your tax refund into emergency savings: http://bit.ly/2jargdi via @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday

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Get some much needed relief. Apply your tax refund to your outstanding debt: http://bit.ly/2jap85c @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday

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Take advantage of free tax help for military families >> http://bit.ly/2E83IA9 via @FINRAFoundation #SavingsTipTuesday

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#SavingsFactFriday

Saving even $50 of your tax refund can make all the difference. @SaveYourRefund: http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday

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The IRS will never send unsolicited messages to taxpayers, and it doesn't ask for passwords, PINs or other personal information. >> http://bit.ly/2EYDnWs #SavingsFactFriday

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Claiming EITC is not as complicated as you might think. Visit the IRS website to find out if you are eligible >> http://bit.ly/2CrsomK #SavingsFactFriday

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Your #taxrefund will continue to grow if you put it into savings or retirement: http://bit.ly/2jap85c @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday

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A #taxrefund can provide an opportunity to improve your financial situation: http://bit.ly/2jap85c @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday

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Free tax help and free tax preparation are available in person and online: http://bit.ly/2hXbHnX @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday

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Additional Posts

Do you have a tip about saving at tax time? Share it with @AmericaSaves and you could win $25 >> http://bit.ly/2hZ6e1m

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@MyFreeTaxes = free tax prep + filing help for qualified people w/combined income of $64k or less >> http://bit.ly/2qU9PGk v/ @MilitarySaves

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Do you need to file a tax return in 2018? This #BetterMoneyHabits video can help you find out: http://bit.ly/2hU8smo @MilitarySaves

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Your emergency savings can help you win big this tax season w/ @SaveYourRefund: http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves

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After splitting your refund w/Form 8888, all you need is 93 seconds to enter @SaveYourRefund! http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves

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Let @MilitarySaves help you stay committed to your tax-time #savings goal! Take the pledge today: http://bit.ly/2an9Bwa

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Opting into the new #BlendedRetirement System in 2018? Use your 2017 tax refund to help fund your retirement savings goals >> http://bit.ly/2lscEY4

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Tools and Resources

Share the following resources with your audience and with partnering organizations.

Military Saves:

Saving at Tax Time

FINRA Investor Education Foundation:

Turn Your Tax Refund Into Instant Savings

Free Tax Help for Military Families

USAA Educational Foundation:

5 quick Tax Refund Tips

Blog Articles

Resources + Research

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | February 3, 2018

    Having a plan for your money is the first step to saving. @MilitarySaves Week is the perfect time to assess your savings goals, make a plan and begin saving: http://bit.ly/2l2K8yr. #MSW18

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Written by Super User | April 16, 2013

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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.

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A Plan for Success

Written by Super User | April 26, 2012

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

First off, we write down our goals and separate wants from needs.

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Making Savings a Part of Marriage

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Capt. Rob Eckhardt is the first to admit that he hasn’t always been responsible with money. But less than 10 years after a rocky start to saving, Eckhardt reports that he and his wife are free from credit card debt, have a down payment on a home, and are saving regularly for retirement. And, as the Military Saves representative for his Air Force squadron, he’s helping others make similar progress.

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