The IRS highlighted tax tips and benefits for military members, veterans and their families to assist in meeting federal income tax filing obligations. This includes active duty or reserve members of the following branches:

  • United States Army (including Army Reserve and Army National Guard).
  • United States Navy (including Navy Reserve).
  • United States Air Force (including Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard).
  • United States Marine Corps (including Marine Corps Reserve).
  • United States Coast Guard (including Coast Guard Reserve).

Moreover, recently retired or separated members may also be eligible for benefits. Service members can use (1) IRS Free File which allows for complimentary filing of taxes; (2) the Military OneSource program, which provides a range of free resources including for family members; (3) the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, which offer volunteers who assist in tax return preparation; and (4) the Earned Income Tax Credit for various tax credits.

The IRS also released IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, which covers special tax situations for active duty members. The publication also comprises of guidance that allows armed forces reservists to deduct their reservist-related travel expenses, regardless of whether they itemize their deductions and moving expense deductions that are available to active-duty members of the military in connection with a change of station.

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LaVonne D. Lawson is a tax attorney, representing individuals and entities in federal and California state tax matters.

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