As we honor our armed forces this Veterans Day, let’s also acknowledge the financial challenges they and their families often face, both while in service and after discharge.
Fortunately, service members needn’t go it alone: Many tax benefits, social services and financial assistance programs are available to help.
Special tax benefits for active duty personnel include:
• If you move because of a permanent change of station, you may be able to deduct unreimbursed moving expenses.
• If you serve in a combat zone for any part of a month, any military pay you received during that month is not considered taxable income.
• You can also include nontaxable combat pay as “earned income” when claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- to moderate-income earners.
• Deadlines for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing refund claims and taking other actions with the IRS are automatically extended for qualifying military members.
• Joint tax returns generally must be signed by both spouses. But, when one spouse is unavailable due to military duty, you may use a power of attorney to file a joint return.