Tax Tips for Those in the Military

The Internal Revenue Service has certain special tax breaks and programs for members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • If you get nontaxable combat pay, you may include it in your taxable income. Having it may boost your earned income tax credit, meaning you may owe less tax and could get a larger refund.
  • As a rule, both spouses typically must sign a joint income tax return. If your spouse is absent due to military duty, you may be able to sign for your spouse. Remember, however, that you may need a power of attorney to file a joint return.
  • If you leave the military and look for work, you may be able to deduct some job search expenses. You can include travel costs, resume preparation, and job placement agency fees.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov7

Footnotes and Sources

  1., October 23, 2023