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Tax Time Offers Opportunity to Help Pennsylvania’s Military Families

Annville, PA – Individuals filing their 2017 Pennsylvania personal income taxes can help Pennsylvania’s military personnel and their families by donating part or all of their refund to the state’s Military Family Relief Assistance Program.
The program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), provides grants of up to $3,500 to Pennsylvania members of the armed forces and their families who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control. The tax form includes instructions on how to donate.
“Pennsylvanians have a history of generous support for our men and women in uniform through programs like the Military Family Relief Assistance Program,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “While it is a simple check-off on a tax form, that gracious gesture goes a long way toward helping a military family get through unfortunate times.”

Examples of how the grants helped service members in 2016-17 include:
• A service member’s home was destroyed by fire and the family lost everything. A grant for $3,500.00 was awarded.
• A service member was unable to find employment after returning from being deployed and with five children to provide for, the family fell behind on household bills. The service member was eventually able to locate employment, but the family needed to catch up on bills to get back on track financially. A grant for $3,500.00 was awarded.
• A service member’s home furnace was beyond repair and assistance was needed to immediately restore heat to the home. A grant for $3,500.00 was awarded.
Since the program began in 2006, more than $1.78 million has been donated by individuals filing their Pennsylvania personal income tax returns and through private donations.
“If qualifying service members and their families are facing financial challenges,
they should apply for assistance through the Military Family Relief Assistance Program,” said Carrelli. “Help is available and the DMVA is here to assist you with your military/veteran needs.”

Members of the armed forces who are residents of Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for assistance while they are serving on active duty for 30 or more consecutive days with the Army, Army Reserve, Navy, Navy Reserve, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve, or the Pennsylvania Army or Air National Guard.

All members of the armed forces who were discharged for medical reasons are also eligible to apply for assistance for up to four years after a medical discharge.

In addition, reserve component service members (including Pennsylvania National Guard members) and their families may be eligible for a grant for a period of up to three years after release from a qualifying active duty tour.

The program also applies to certain family members of eligible service members who are Pennsylvania residents. Applicants must show that they have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control.

In addition to the check-off box on the Personal Income Tax form, contributions can be made directly by sending a check to the Military Family Relief Assistance Program, c/o Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Bldg. 0-47 Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003.

Donations are tax deductible to the extent authorized by federal law.

To learn more about this program, visit http://www.mfrap.pa.gov.