April is Financial Literacy Month and April 15th is National Tax Day. While tax season is stressful for many Americans, it can be especially stressful for Military Members and Veterans as they try to understand what, if anything, they owe to Uncle Sam. Military Members or Veterans & taxes have a different relationship than most Americans.
Military Members and Veterans may be confused as to what types of pay and benefits to count as income; however, by using SC Thrive’s online application system, The Benefit Bank of South Carolina (TBB-SC), that confusion can be lessened. Military Members and Veterans can use TBB-SC to file their federal taxes and, if South Carolina is their home state, they can also file their state taxes using the system. The Benefit Bank of South Carolina is an online application system run by SC Thrive. The system allows South Carolinians to file their taxes and to apply for benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI/SSDI and more. Using the system to complete taxes, a tax filer would need to have an adjusted gross income of $65,000 or less, or $95,000 or less if married filing jointly. Then, they can have an adjusted gross income of $95,000. A tax filer can access the online system by visiting scthrive.org/filetaxes and utilizing our self-serve option. They can also use our site locator to find organizations with trained SC Thrive Tax Counselors that would assist them with completing their tax return. The Benefit Bank of South Carolina can also be used to file up to three years of back taxes that have not been filed yet.
The beauty of using an online system such as The Benefit Bank of South Carolina is it takes the complexity out of filing taxes. The Internal Revenue’s current Armed Forces Tax Guide is 37 pages. That is 37 pages of text and charts to figure out if special pay, incentive pay or basic allowance for housing (BAH) needs to be counted as income. Trying to determine if disability payments or social security income should be included can be just as complicated. With The Benefit Bank of South Carolina’s easy interview system, the tax filer would enter all their information, and the system will determine what income to count. Because the expertise is in the system, it decreases the opportunity for errors. The Benefit Bank of South Carolina is always offered free of charge to the client.
In addition to tax filing with The Benefit Bank of South Carolina, we also offer free financial wellness education. In partnership with Money Management International, SC Thrive offers free financial wellness information by calling 800.726.8774.
Tax filing and financial wellness education are important to South Carolinians, not just military members, Veterans and their families. SC Thrive is here to assist all South Carolinians in the path towards stabilized, healthy communities. You can learn more about SC Thrive tax filing HERE.