Veteran News and Updates

Additional Veteran Benefits

Taxes

Military Installation Tax Centers

Most large military installations worldwide offer service members and their families free income tax filing assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which is sponsored by the IRS. VITA sites have volunteers that are trained by the IRS to provide assistance with some of the more complicated military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits.

Click here to contact your local installation for more information about location of tax centers, hours of operation, scheduling appointments, and necessary documentation.

Off-Base Tax Services

Liberty Tax Service is also offering Military.com members a new customer discount of $50 off income tax preparation. Click here to print out the coupon and take it to participating Liberty offices with a valid military ID.

Online Tax Preparation

Military OneSource provides free tax preparation and filing services and tax consultations for military families. This service allows military members to complete and electronically file federal and up to 3 state tax returns. This is available for active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve, and spouses. Service members who retired and discharged honorably are eligible until 180 days past their retirement date, end of tour of service or discharge date. You must create a free account with Military OneSource to use this service.

Jackson Hewitt is offering a 25% discount on your online Federal and State tax return preparation.

IRS Free File is a program available to taxpayers whose Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $62,000 or less. This program helps you find a Free File company that’s best for you out of the numerous companies that participate and offers fillable forms when preparing your own tax returns. Free file opens January 15, 2016.

TaxSlayer has a Military Edition for active duty service members to prepare federal and state returns online for 50% off.

TurboTax offers discounts on its software that’s customized for members of the military. Service members with pay grades of E1-E5 can get the software for free, while pay grades of E6 through all officer pay grades can get the software at a discounted price.

Necessary Documents

Filing your taxes requires a lot of documents and personal information so make sure to collect everything you’ll need before you get started. The following is a list of some of those necessary records, but if you’re getting outside help, it’s best to call ahead to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

  • Photo ID/Military ID
  • Social security cards for you and each family member claimed on the return
  • Wage and earning statement(s), such as Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R
  • Child care costs
  • Investment income forms
  • Receipts for charitable donations
  • Receipts for deductible expenses
  • Your bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Last year’s returns

W-2 forms are usually available for military members by the end of January and can be downloaded from MyPay website.

Indigent Veterans

The county Veterans Assistance Commission shall provide burial for any honorably discharged indigent veteran, or their mothers, fathers, spouse or surviving spouse, or minor children without sufficient means to defray the funeral expenses. The expense of such burial shall not exceed the sum of $600. Emergency food, transportation, etc. are provided in certain cases. Please contact your local county Veterans Assistance Commission for more information.

 

Incarcerated Veterans Program

The Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program (IVTP), is a multi-agency initiative operated by the Illinois Departments of Corrections, Veterans’ Affairs and Employment Security, and aimed at cutting down the recidivism rate among veterans. To date, nearly 300 incarcerated veterans have voluntarily participated in the program, which is expected to further expand to all of the state’s medium and minimum-security correctional centers.

 

Veterans Conservation Corps

The Veterans Conservation Corps is a joint program from the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Volunteers are needed and there is a variety of opportunities available so there is something for everyone. If you are interested in becoming a member of Conservation Corps, the first step is to meet with a Veteran Service Officer in your area or call the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.

 

Veteran of the Month

Each month, on behalf of the Illinois Governor, the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director will recognize an individual who contributes to the betterment of communities and other Veterans across the State of Illinois. For more information, contact IDVA at (312) 814-5538.

 

Camping & Admission Fees

This benefit provides for the exemption of camping and admission fees for certain disabled persons and former prisoners of war who are Illinois residents and wish to camp in parks under the control of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Documentation is required. Hunting and Fishing Privileges Fishing and hunting licenses are not required for disabled veterans receiving 10% or greater service-connected compensation, or total disability pension benefits. To acquire a permit, contact your local Veterans Service office.

 

State Fair

Honorably discharged veterans of all ages and their families shall be admitted FREE, when they properly identify themselves, on Veterans' Day at the fair. Veterans Day includes a day-long program of drum corps, drill teams, and color guard competition. Admission is FREE to people 60 and older on Senior Day.

 

Cartage Fees

When the federal government has furnished a headstone or marker, the ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS shall pay up to the allowable reimbursement amount for the setting of such marker within Illinois. Currently, the maximum amount is $100.00 payable upon approval of the application.

 

Graves Registration

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs shall maintain a card file Roll of Honor of all veterans buried in the State of Illinois. Every person, firm or corporation owning or controlling any cemetery or burial place in this State is required to keep a permanent record of the burial of each U.S. war veteran or memorial marker erected for this purpose.

 

National Cemeteries

  • Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island Arsenal, Bldg. 118, Rock Island, IL 61299 Tel: (309) 782-2094/2097 For more information please click here.
  • Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery (near Chicago) 27034 South Diagonal Road, Elwood, IL 60421 Tel: (815) 423-9958/5824 For more information please click here.
  • Danville National Cemetery, 1900 East Main Street, Danville, IL 61832, Tel: (217) 554-4550/4291 FAX: (217) 554-4803 For more information please click here.
  • Camp Butler National Cemetery, 5063 Camp Butler Road, Springfield, IL 62707 Tel: (217) 492 – 4070/4072 For more information please click here.
  • Mound City National Cemetery, HWY Junction 37 & 51, Mound City, IL 62963 Tel: (314) 260-8691 or (800) 535-1117 or (314) 260-8723 For more information please click here.
  • Quincy National Cemetery, 36th and Maine Street, Quincy, IL 62301 Tel: (309) 782-2094/2097F www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/quincy.asp.
  • Alton National Cemetery, 600 Pearl Street, Alton, IL 62003 Tel: (314) 260-8691 or (800) 535-1117 or (314) 260-8723 For more information please click here.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Danville, Camp Butler and Mound City national cemeteries have space available for casketed and cremated remains. Alton has space available for cremated remains and can accommodate casketed remains in the grave sites of previously interred family members. Quincy is closed to new interments, but can bury family members in existing grave sites.

Click for information regarding the Disabled Veterans Exemption Changes. Please pass on to other veterans and veteran organizations.