Resources to make tax time easier for U.S. service members and veterans

Issue Number: COVID Tax Tip 2021-171


Resources to make tax time easier for U.S. service members and veterans

The IRS has a variety of resources to help members of the military, veterans and their families navigate the unique and complex circumstances that come with filing taxes while in the military. Reviewing these resources is a good way to get ready for the upcoming tax filing season.

Here’s a list of some of these resources.

  • Tax Information for Members of the Military​ is the main page on IRS.gov where people can go to find links to helpful info, resources and services.
  • A taxpayer’s military status affects whether they are eligible for certain benefits. Taxpayers can check their​ eligibility for military tax benefits​ by visiting IRS.gov. Qualifying employers include the Armed Forces, uniformed services and support organizations. ​
  • There are rules specific to those who serve in combat zones. These taxpayers and their families can find out more on the​ Tax Exclusion for Combat Service​ page of IRS.gov. They should also review​ special rules for the earned income tax credit. If these apply to their tax situation, it could lead to a larger refund. ​
  • The​ Armed Forces’ Tax Guide​ is a comprehensive IRS publication for military members. This includes:
    • Special rules for military personnel serving abroad, including deadline extensions
    • Unreimbursed moving expenses
    • Reserve component travel expenses ​
  • Members of the military and qualifying veterans can prepare and e-file their taxes for free through​ MilTax. Taxpayers who do not qualify for MilTax have other options to prepare and e-file their federal taxes for free.
  • Most military installations offer​ free income tax assistance​ through the military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Military service members can contact their installation’s legal office for details. Veterans may also qualify for free tax help at locations nationwide if they meet income or age requirements.
  • Families receiving advance child tax credit payments will​ reconcile those payments with the child tax credit they claim on their 2021 tax returns in the 2022 tax filing season. If the amount of the child tax credit exceeds the total amount of the taxpayer’s advance child tax credit payments, they can claim the remaining amount of the credit on their tax return. However, a taxpayer may have to repay the advance payments if the advance payments are more than the credit, they’re allowed based on the 2021 tax returns.


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