If you are a member of the U. S. Armed Forces, likely the last thing on your mind is taxes. Be aware though, there are many special tax benefits available to members of the armed forces.
Following are six of those benefits:
- Deadline Extensions. Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone some tax deadlines. If this applies to you, you can get automatic extensions of time to file your tax return and pay your taxes.
- Combat Pay Exclusion. If you serve in a combat zone, certain combat pay you get is not taxable. You won’t need to show the pay on your tax return because combat pay isn’t included in the wages reported on your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Service in support of a combat zone may also qualify for this exclusion.
- Earned Income Tax Credit. If you get nontaxable combat pay, you may choose to include it to figure your EITC. You would make this choice if it increases your credit. Even if you do, the combat pay stays nontaxable.
- Moving Expense Deduction. You may be able to deduct some of your unreimbursed moving costs. This applies if you are a member of the Armed Forces on active duty and, due to a military order, you move because of a permanent change of station.
- Signing Joint Returns. Both spouses normally must sign a joint income tax return. If your spouse is absent due to certain military duty or conditions, you may be able to sign for your spouse. In other cases when your spouse is absent, you may need a power of attorney to file a joint return.
- Reserve and National Guard travel. Members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces may be able to deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses on their return. In order to do so, they must travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with their performance of services as a member of the reserves.
Above are just a few of the benefits offered to members of the Armed Forces. More benefits can be found on IRS.gov and in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide. If you need assistance, contact your Henry+Horne tax professional for more information.