If you’re a member of the military, or a member of your family is, you may be able to take advantage of some special tax benefits.
For example, certain types of income aren’t taxed for members of the armed forces.
Here’s an idea of some of the tax benefits available to you.
Combat Pay Exclusion
If a member of your family serves in a combat zone, all combat pay is non-taxable. This also applies if you’re working outside a combat zone, but the Department of Defense declares the area as providing direct support for the military within a combat zone.
Commissioned officers should look up the limits to this exclusion.
Extensions to Your Tax Filing Deadline
Certain military members, including those overseas, can postpone their tax deadlines. These extensions are often automatic.
The Earned Income Tax Credit
If you claim the combat pay exclusion, you can also include it on your taxable income. This may enable you to claim credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which could lead to a tax refund.
No Need for Joint Return Signatures
Filing a joint return with your spouse? If someone is overseas, they need only to sign once, or they can get power of attorney.
The Military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
The Armed Forces Tax Council offers direct training and assistance to staff working at VITA sites so they can manage specific military tax issues.
These legal offices can offer expert advice.
Travel for National Guard and Reserve Members
It’s possible to deduct travel expenses that weren’t reimbursed if you’re a member of the Reserve forces or National Guard.
To qualify, the trip must be 100 miles away from home and must be carried out in order to perform their duties.
Allowances for ROTC Students
ROTC students can declare some pay during advanced training as non-taxable. Allowances for education and subsistence both qualify under these rules.
Active duty ROTC pay is, however, fully taxable.
Discover The Benefits of Filing Your Taxes Online
Keep in mind, if you file online with H&R Block or TurboTax they will ask you the correct questions to let you know which deductions you qualify for and guarantee you will receive the largest refund ever.
Their online filing services have the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail. You can also use their free tax refund estimator to see how much of a refund you can expect.