Tax statements for all members of the active duty and Reserve components will be available online no later than Jan. 22, according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Dates vary by the different components:

  • Jan. 7: Reserve Army, Navy, Air Force W-2 statements
  • Jan. 11: Active and Reserve Marine W-2 statements
  • Jan. 22: Active Army, Navy, Air Force W-2 statements
  • Dec. 19: Retiree 1099R statements

For those who receive their tax statements by mail, your statement will be mailed no later than Jan. 31.

If you’re looking to jump on filing that tax return if you think you’ll get a refund, you can’t do that immediately. The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t start accepting tax returns generally until late January. That start date hasn’t yet been announced, but it should be announced in early January.

The IRS generally issues refunds in less than 21 calendar days.

Service members and their families have options for free tax preparation, through on-base tax centers with trained, certified volunteers who also have training in military-specific tax questions. In addition, Military OneSource offers free MilTax Preparation and e-Filing software starting in mid-January. Military tax consultants are also available through Military OneSource for those with questions.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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