2018-02-08 / News

Benefits to veterans exempt; IRS can help through VITA

As the tax deadline approaches, Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Service Mike Roby is reminding all veterans and their families that benefits paid under any law administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are tax exempt.

“This is especially helpful for those veterans and their families living on fixed incomes,” said Commissioner Roby.

VA benefits that are tax exempt include disability compensation and pension payments paid either to veterans or their families; education, training, and subsistence allowances; grants for homes designed for wheelchair living; grants for motor vehicles for veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs; GI insurance dividends paid to either veterans or their beneficiaries; and interest on dividends left on deposit with VA.

Interest accumulated on money from VA benefits deposited into any type of interest-bearing account may be taxable. Veterans with questions relating to these tax issues or any other tax matter should consult with a tax advisor.

The IRS and VA entered into a partnership in 2015 to provide free tax preparation services to veterans and their families. Eligible veterans and their families can receive help through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

The IRS works with local community groups to train and certify workers to assist in preparing tax returns. Veterans interested in using these programs can find more information at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/ information-for-veterans.

Taxpayers can also receive tax assistance by contacting the IRS weekdays at 1-800-829-1040 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. or at www.irs.gov.

IRS Publication 525, “Taxable and Nontaxable Income,” has a section devoted to veterans income. This document is available at https:// www.irs.gov/publications/p525.

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