Service members have always made, and still are making, great sacrifices for their fellow citizens. These sacrifices and extra efforts they make for their country greatly make them eligible for many tax benefits to reduce their burdens financially and economically.
However, most people in the armed forces are not well aware of most tax benefits. This certainly makes these tax benefits useless if they are not taken and missed. Here are the 6 military tax benefits that you definitely can’t miss out on:
Reservists Travel Expense
You are eligible to deduct your travel expense if you serve in the military or National Guard. Not many military people know this, but if you travel more than 100 miles away from home and also travel overnight, you can easily deduct 55.5 cents per mile you travel, half of your meal costs, lodging, toll fees, toll fees, and parking as well.
Any monthly payments you receive for working in the combat zone are not taxable at all. Being a military officer, you might have a certain cap on your tax-free pay; however, your combat pay shouldn’t be overlooked, as it isn’t taxable. Taking the combat pay into account won’t only qualify you for the earned Income Tax Credit, but will also take some tax burden off your shoulders.
If you study in the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), you are required to pay any taxes for any of the allowances you receive on your participation in the advanced training. However, this rule isn’t applicable for any active duty pay you receive, but only on your advanced training program.
Suppose you are an active service military member and have to change your station permanently. In that case, you can automatically deduct your moving expenses if they are not already reimbursed to you. Even after leaving the military and moving to a new location for a new job, you still might be eligible for the moving expense deduction. The requirements for this expense are a bit confusing, for which it is better to consult a professional military firm that could assist you with your taxes.
The expense of your military uniforms, their upkeep, and cleaning are also tax deductible. These uniforms are formidable to wear during your off-duty hours, reducing your deduction for any uniform allowance you receive. This tax benefit is also not very known and seldom used, which can help you greatly.
Tax Return Filling
Another tax benefit is that you get a 180-days extension period after the April 15 deadline to file your tax return if you are found serving in a combat zone during the filing period. If you are hospitalized due to injuries in the combat zone, a similar extension is granted to you.
Similarly, if you serve out of the country in a non-combat zone, your extension to file tax extends to June 15 from April 15. The same rules will apply if you serve in the combat zone as a civilian. However, you will need to mention your service in the Combat Zone and your deployment date, highlighting it in red and on top of the form. In the case of a joint return, your spouse can easily sign a power of attorney on your behalf if you are not available to sign.
Knowing and understanding the tax benefits you are eligible for and can easily take advantage of will greatly help you put some tax burden off your shoulders. However, professional military tax guidance is required for appropriate measures. In this regard, you can contact our skillful professionals at Armed Forces Benefits Network to file your taxes in the best way.