Filing taxes is a crucial responsibility for every citizen, but it comes with unique considerations and benefits for members and veterans of the armed forces. As tax season approaches, knowing when and where to file taxes and understanding your benefits as a military member –retired or active– is essential for a smooth and quick tax return. Learn the key elements that armed forces personnel need to know to ensure you can maximize your benefits and maintain compliance, and discover additional financial services offered by the Armed Forces Benefits Network.

Overview of Armed Forces Tax Benefits 

While civilians adhere to standard tax filing deadlines, armed forces personnel often have different timelines to consider. Understanding these deadlines is vital to avoid penalties and interest. The regular tax filing date for civilians is April 15th, but military members typically receive an automatic extension, allowing them until June 15th to file their federal tax returns. However, it’s important to note that this extension doesn’t apply to state taxes, so military members should be aware of any specific state deadlines. 

Extensions and Special Considerations 

For situations where armed forces personnel are unable to meet the June 15th cutoff, filing for an extension becomes crucial. Military members can request an additional extension, but it’s essential to understand the implications of doing so. While extensions provide extra time to file, they don’t grant an extension for paying any taxes owed. Therefore, estimating and paying any owed taxes is advisable to minimize interest penalties. 

Special considerations also apply to deployed or overseas military members. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) provides specific guidelines for those stationed outside the United States, including an automatic two-month extension for filing and paying taxes listed above. 

Additional extensions are available for those in combat zones so military members can focus on their duties without the added stress of meeting tax deadlines. 

Key Documents and Information 

Armed forces personnel should gather essential documents and information to ensure a smooth tax filing process. Forms include W-2 forms, deployment orders, travel receipts, and other relevant financial records. Staying organized is imperative for accurately reporting income, deductions, and credits. Due to the complexity of tax filing for retired and active military members, seeking financial support is advised. Consider AFBN as an ally throughout your financial journey, from tax assistance to VA loans

Tips for Smooth Tax Filing 

Organizing tax documents can be overwhelming, especially for military members who are frequently on the move. Utilize available resources such as an Armed Forces Benefits Advisor who understands military tax filing and other military-related assistance. Be aware of common tax mistakes, such as inaccurately reporting income or overlooking eligible deductions, and take steps to avoid them, such as double-checking your work or having an advisor assist you. 

Recent Changes and Updates

Tax laws are subject to change, meaning staying informed of any recent updates is vital. Changes in laws, forms, or procedures can impact the filing process. Be sure to check for updates to comply with the latest regulations often. Because advisors consistently work in the tax and financial industry, they can be an excellent resource for current information. AFBN advisors are versed in veteran and active military tax filing complexities. 


Filing taxes may seem daunting, but service members have access to various benefits designed to ease the process. By understanding tax filing deadlines, staying organized, and being aware of changes, you can confidently navigate tax season. The Armed Forces Benefits Network encourages you to take full advantage of your benefits with the help of an advisor. Secure the benefits you’ve earned through your dedicated service to our nation. Find an Armed Forces Benefits Network location near you today!