By Capt. Cesar Vargas, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Feb. 8, 2024) — Tax season is in full swing, and it is time to organize important documents, such as last year’s tax return, mortgage interest information (IRS Form 1098), and all W2s, including travel tax statements for those who changed duty stations and completed what’s called a personally procured move, or a do-it-yourself move.

Although Fort Leonard Wood’s Tax Center is only able to serve Gold Star families and retirees this year due to limited capacity, there is still a wide range of free tax preparation resources available. The Legal Assistance Office has compiled a list of free online and in-person tax preparation resources available to service members, military families and Department of Defense civilians.

 IRS Free File

The IRS partners with industry tax-filing services to assist taxpayers in filing federal income tax returns online using free guided tax preparation software. The service is available to service members with an adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less. Some state returns are filed for free; others may charge a fee.

For those with an AGI greater than $79,000, the IRS provides electronic federal tax forms with instructions and other available IRS publications.

Visit the IRS website for more information.


Through Military OneSource, the MilTax e-filing software is a free service available to service members, their dependents and retirees within one year of retirement. MilTax offers self-service tax preparation with no income limits, unlimited state returns and tax consultants available 24/7 to answer questions.

VITA Free File

The Department of Defense’s annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is a free program available to active-duty and retired service members and their dependents, as well as deployed Department of Defense civilians. VITA’s online filing option is available to active-duty service members with an AGI of $79,000 or less. Click here for more information.

Interactive Tax Assistant

The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant is available online to answer tax questions. Taxpayers can ask questions about topics, such as claiming dependents, what income is taxable, if certain credits or deductions are eligible and more.

In-person VITA tax preparation

In-person IRS VITA tax preparation locations are set up in community libraries, schools and neighborhood centers throughout the country. Click here to find area providers.


About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.