Tax Information for Members of the Military

By Dr. Martie Gillen

The IRS web site has a wealth of tax information including tax information for members of the military and tax information for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Some tax laws may provide special benefits for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces including those serving in combat zones.

The Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, addresses a wide range of issues that may affect members of the military including gross income; adjustments to income including armed forces reservists and moving expenses; combat zone exclusion; alien status; sale of a home; foreclosures; itemized deductions; tax credits such as the earned income credit and the child tax credit; forgiveness of a decedent’s tax liability; filing returns including same-sex marriage, where to file, when to file, and signing returns, and extension of deadlines; deferral (delay) of payment for income tax; maximum rate of interest; and how to get tax help.

The questions and answers on combat zone tax provisions offers guidance on the tax relief provided for U.S. military and support personnel involved in military operations in a combat zone.

Check with the legal services assistance office at your military installation to see if they offer free tax assistance. According to the IRS, you can also find free options to prepare and file your return on IRS.gov or in your local community if you qualify.

  • Go to IRS.gov and click on the Filing tab to see your options.
  • Enter “Free File” in the search box to see whether you can use brand-name software to prepare and e-file your federal tax return for free.
  • Enter “VITA” in the search box, download the free IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887 to find the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) location for free tax preparation.
  • Enter “TCE” in the search box, download the free IRS2Go app, or call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax Counseling for the Elderly location for free tax preparation.

Once you have filed your taxes, you can check the status of your refund by going to the IRS Refunds webpage; downloading the free IRS2Go app to your smart phone and use it to check your refund status, or calling the automated refund hotline at 1-800-829-1954.

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