If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the IRS wants you to know about the many tax benefits that may apply to you. Special tax rules apply to military members on active duty, including those serving in combat zones. These rules can help lower your federal taxes and make it easier to file your tax return.
Deadline Extensions. Qualifying military members, including those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone some tax deadlines.
Combat Pay Exclusion. If you serve in a combat zone, you can exclude certain combat pay from your income. Some service outside a combat zone also qualifies for this exclusion.
Earned Income Tax Credit. You can choose to include nontaxable combat pay as earned income to figure your EITC. Even if you do, the combat pay remains nontaxable.
Moving Expense Deduction. If you move due to a permanent change of station, you may be able to deduct some of your unreimbursed moving costs.
Uniform Deduction. You can deduct the costs and upkeep of certain uniforms that regulations prohibit you from wearing while off duty.
Signing Joint Returns. When one spouse is unavailable due to certain military duty or conditions, the other may, in some cases sign for both spouses.
Reservists’ Travel Deduction. If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, you may deduct certain travel expenses on your tax return.
Nontaxable ROTC Allowances. Educational and subsistence allowances paid to ROTC students participating in advanced training are not taxable.
Civilian Life. After leaving the military, you may be able to deduct certain job hunting expenses. Moving expenses may also be deductible.
Tax Help. Most military bases offer free tax preparation and filing assistance during the tax filing season.
You can learn more about these tax benefits in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide at IRS.gov or you can order it by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).