Top 5 Tax Tips Military Service Members and Their Families Could Use

family of an army man

The IRS provides a lot of special advantages to military members and their families when it comes tax filing. Unfortunately, the awareness is not widespread and not many service members know of these advantages.


Therefore, to make it easier for you, here are a few benefits you could apply for:


Benefits for Members of the National Guard and Reserve:


Do you know you are allowed to deduct the expense of buying and maintaining your military uniform, if its off-duty wear is not allowed? You can. Since in most cases, off-duty wear is not allowed, you can deduct the cost while filing for taxes. However, do make sure to add in any allowance or reimbursements you received for the uniforms. Similarly, you are allowed to deduct reimbursed travel expenses if your Guard or Reserve duties have taken place more than 100 miles away from your home.


Benefits for Deployed Service Members:


While most service members are aware of the fact that combat income is not taxable, some members do not know about it, which makes it important to be mentioned here. Service members can save thousands of dollars by utilizing this benefit if it is mentioned on the tax forms. Similarly, service members who are deployed can also ask for extensions for tax returns filing, contributing to the IRAs and paying taxes. However, do note that if you delay the filing, your refunds will be delayed too, in case the IRS needs to pay you back.

Benefits for Home Sellers:


Home sellers, who are tax payers, need to pay capital gains taxes if they have lived in the house being sold for more than two years of the last five years of the house. This rule does not apply on uniformed personnel if they are required to move by the authorities. Moreover, any cost associated with traveling to find a house can also be compensated, if the move is ordered by the military.


Benefits for Military Spouses:


According to the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, which was implemented in 2009, spouses of military personnel are allowed to maintain an established state of residency when relocating with their spouses under military orders. In other words, if you are married to a service member, you don’t have to necessarily pay income taxes of the state you have relocated to.


Benefits of Free Assistance:


A very important benefit uniformed personnel can avail is of free consultation of tax guidance available at most military camps. VITA (The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program) was developed to provide free advice and consultation to military families. It is pertinent to mention here that the volunteers of this program are certified professionals of the IRS.


Not just these, there are numerous other benefits for service professionals offered by the IRS. You can go through the IRS website to check if you can avail any of their benefits for military personnel. Lastly, the USAA suggests to seek advice of a professional tax consultant to ensure you know your rights and benefits before you file.



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