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Category: Federal Military Filing Info

Tax Information for Members of the U.S. Armed Forces

The tax laws provide some special benefits for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in combat zones.

For federal tax purposes, the U.S. Armed Forces includes officers and enlisted personnel in all regular and reserve units controlled by the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Coast Guard is also included, but not the U.S. Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross. However, these and other support personnel may qualify for certain tax deadline extensions because of their service in a combat zone.

Consumer Alert (June 2012)
Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a new, email-based phishing scam now circulating that targets Department of Defense military members, retirees and civilian employees. The email appears to come from Defense Finance and Accounting Services and displays a .mil email address. The email states that those receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may be able to obtain additional funds from the IRS. Email recipients are then asked to send various VA and IRS documents containing their personal and financial information, such as copies of VA award letters or their income tax returns, to an address in Florida.

The information on these documents is then used by the scammers to commit identity theft. Typically, identity thieves use someone's personal data to empty the victim's financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards or apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name.

For more information on phishing scams, please see Suspicious e-Mails and Identity Theft.


Tax Laws Affecting the Military
These tax laws provide some special benefits for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in combat zones.

* First Time Homebuyer Credit- There are special benefits for members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside the United States.

* Military Family Tax Relief Act of 2003- Tax breaks related to military service, including two provisions that may require amended returns.

The following are all methods of assistance that the IRS provides to help in the filing of income tax returns for military members and their families:

* Questions & Answers on Combat Zone Tax Provisions — Military Pay Exclusions, Deadline Extensions and Miscellaneous Provisions for Qualifying Taxpayers; Employers.

* Combat Zone E-mail Address: Members of the Armed Forces serving in combat zones can email the IRS at this unique email address to alert the IRS that they are serving in a combat zone

* Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, addresses a wide range of issues that may affect members of the military:

* Online — browse the publication to find specific information, download a copy to read later or print select pages;

* Hardcopy — order a paper copy by calling 1-800-829-3676.