9 Tax Tips for San Diego's Military Community

One highlight: The free MilTax software that includes tax prep help from tax consultants

Taxes are due this year on April 18.
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San Diego is home to thousands and thousands of members of the military and their family members.

These members of our community who are among those who sacrifice the most could be, just like everyone else, scrambling this week to file their tax returns.

And just like many of us, there ARE things particular to their situation, in this case, to their military service, that they can do to try to enlarge that refund check or shrink that check they're making out to Uncle Sam.

Here are some tips the IRS is providing to military members during 2022's tax season:

  • Either a portion or all combat pay may be tax-free: "This also applies to people working in an area outside a combat zone when the Department of Defense certifies that area is in direct support of military operations in a combat zone." However, commissioned officers will find that there are limits to this exclusion
  • Military members are not taxed for uniform allowance, which is also the case base allowances for housing and subsistence
  • Some moving expenses incurred by active-duty military members for which they are not reimbursed could be deductible. The move "must be due to a military order or result of a permanent change of station," officials said
  • Some military members, including those serving overseas, can, in some cases, postpone tax deadlines. Extensions can also be requested for when they pay their taxes
  • There are rules that allow military members who get untaxed combat pay to include it in their taxable income if they opt to increase their earned income tax credit, which can possibly mean a bigger refund. "Also, taxpayers can use their 2019 earned income to figure their 2021 earned income credit if their 2019 earned income is more than their 2021 earned income," according to the IRS
  • Filing jointly but military service presents you both signing? No problem: "one spouse may be able to sign for the other or get a power of attorney," if "a power of attorney is right for them." Be sure to consult your installation's legal office for guidance on whether giving someone power of attorney is right for you
  • If you're in the reserves or National Guard and incurred travel expenses you were not paid for, you may be able to deduct them if you were more than 100 miles away from home for reasons tied to your service.
  • The DOD provides access to MilTax software for free to service members, which includes help with tax preparation from tax consultants. MilTax users can use the software to electronically file their federal return as well as up to three state returns
  • Some service members may be eligible for free tax prep from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program operated in conjunction with the IRS. Use this online tool to a find a site near you.

And a final reminder: Taxes are due this year on April 18. Why the extra days? Friday, April 15, is recognized in Washington, D.C., this year as the holiday Emancipation Day, and filers get a pass on weekends ....

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