The beginning of the year means that it is time to start preparing your tax return. If you serve the military, you should be aware that you may be eligible for several tax-related breaks and benefits, including filing extensions and certain tax deductions.
If you are serving outside of the United States and Puerto Rico on April 15, 2014, you are automatically granted a two-month extension for filing your taxes. Your new deadline will be June 15, 2014. No paperwork is required to receive the extension but you will be charged interest on any taxes owed from April 15 to the date the taxes are paid.
If you are serving in a combat zone you may be eligible for extensions of at least 180 days for filing tax returns, filing claims for a refund, and paying taxes.
Military Tax Breaks and Deductions
Here are some of the tax exclusions and deductions that apply to qualifying military service members:
- Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
- Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)
- Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)
- Combat zone pay
- Unreimbursed costs for uniform upkeep when local military rules prohibit you from wearing uniforms off duty
- Reasonable unreimbursed moving expenses incurred during a required permanent change of station (PCS)
- Unreimbursed work-related travel expenses when you are traveling away from your PCS
- Temporary lodging
- Dependent care assistance program payments
- Medical and dental care
- Family Separation Allowance
- Survivor Protection Plan premiums
- ROTC allowances
- Defense counseling
- Disability payments
- Group term life insurance
Filing your taxes and understanding all the deductions and tax credits that may apply to you might seem a bit complicated and confusing. If you need help, seek the assistance of a reputable tax advisor and visit the IRS website and view the Armed Forces’ Tax Guide for more information.
For more information on Tax Season please check out our 5 Smart ways to spend your Tax Refund Article