DEAR ABBY: My husband is a commander in the Air Force Reserve, recently deployed overseas. In his absence, I have been trying to establish a support group for the spouses of the deployed reservists in his unit.
A number of questions have come up among the spouses regarding the filing of income taxes for 2005. I am wondering if you know of any resources available for military service and family members, especially reservists. Could you please help me find accurate information and/or sources of assistance in this area? Thanks! -- KATHERINE L. JOHNSON
DEAR KATHERINE: Every year, when tax season rolls around, there are always lots of questions. Some of them come in January, but most arise just before April 15. The good news is, help is now available for military service and family members at no cost.
This year, the Department of Defense is providing free access to the popular TurboTax filing program to all active duty guard and reserves (regardless of their activation status) and their family members via the Web site www.militaryonesource.com. This free program serves as an online "tax mentor" and helps in the preparation and filing of both federal and state taxes. Military OneSource can also refer you to certified financial counselors, tax experts and public accountants who can answer questions, also at no charge, by calling toll-free: (800) 342-9647. (To access the numbers for overseas, Spanish language and hearing-impaired tax filers, log onto www.militaryonesource.com.)
Katherine, I'd like to personally thank you for establishing a support group for the spouses in your husband's unit because I am sure that at least some of them may feel isolated from one another while their loved ones are away. If you haven't already considered it, you might want to check with your nearest military installation family readiness group, state coordinator or family program director. Military OneSource's 24/7 readiness counselors can also connect you to whatever information or support services you need. Please convey my appreciation to your unit and the members of your new spouse group. I salute you.