I have the honor to write this first article for the Military Tax Experts Alliance website, miltiarytaxexperts.org. We should have created the Military Tax Experts Alliance much sooner. Maybe we could have prevented all those times we’ve seen tax returns messed up because the preparer didn’t understand how military life impacted taxes. 

The good news is that 2023 is the foundation year of the Military Tax Experts Alliance. We are a nonprofit professional association of tax professionals. All members have a military connection -we are service members, military spouses, and veterans. Our mission has several elements:

  1. Ensuring that service members and their families have better access to tax professionals with true military expertise. Expanding the tax planning and preparation service opportunities of active duty and reserve service members of the armed forces of the United States, veterans of the armed forces of the United States, and their families. 
  2. Fostering military tax expert community growth and sharing  military tax knowledge.
  3. Encouraging the proliferation of the association’s objectives by providing leadership, mentorship, and educational opportunities to transitioning military family members considering a career in tax planning and preparation.
  4. Promoting civic and social programs advancing the financial literacy and tax literacy of military service members, veterans, and their families.

 The founding members of the association have already been doing these things, but not within a formal association to focus our efforts. This sounds great for us. What does it really mean for you, the military taxpayer?

It means that you have a place to find tax professionals who have to go through the effort to show they are military tax experts. You should still make sure you screen tax professionals yourself, to ensure the tax professional is a good fit for you.. The application and membership process is designed to do the following:

  1. Ensure that the tax professional truly has military tax experience and knowledge. All our members truly understand the military life and how taxes are impacted by that life.
  2. Ensure that all of our members have continued education each and every year. Taxes change, we need to make sure we keep up with the changes. 
  3. We require our members to maintain their status as a tax professional properly. In addition to the continued education, this includes following Circular 230 which is the governing document from the IRS regarding ethical tax practice. 

You will also have a trusted source available for some tax knowledge and information. We’ll do this through various forums and mediums and our website blog is one of them. Bad information is something we see on social media every day and we find it frustrating. We’ve seen the results of taxpayers following bad tax advice, often provided by well meaning people. It often isn’t pretty. 

And finally, if you are looking to start a career as a tax professional or improve the one you have, then we want to be available to provide some help. It might just be answering a few questions or providing more structured guidance. This part we still have a lot of development to do to see what it looks like. We want it to be easier for military families to find military tax experts who have that military lifestyle knowledge. That means we need more of you to become tax professionals. 

 We are excited with the launch of MTEA. We are committed to making a big positive impact on military tax preparation and planning. We encourage you to reach out to us.