For military servicememembers, the tax deadline can be especially stressful, taking into account your hectic military lifestyle filled with military moves, PCS orders, major life changes and more.
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The Complete Guide to Filing Military Taxes

Tax season seems to creep up on us all every year. For military servicememembers, the tax deadline can be especially stressful, taking into account your hectic military lifestyle filled with military moves, PCS orders, major life changes and more.

Use this step-by-step guide to clear up the confusion and have a stress-free tax season, every tax season.


More than most other people, military servicemembers undergo constant life changes. Reporting those changes to the IRS is an essential part of filing taxes.

Military life changes include being deployed overseas, income changes from being called to active duty, marriage, death or a spouse, birth of a child, etc. Reporting life changes will also help military servicemembers decide which forms are needed to complete tax filings.

Remember, it pays to request tax forms early. As the April tax deadline approaches, the IRS gets overloaded with requests and might not be able to mail your specific forms in time for the filing deadline.

Filing tax returns from areas where you are stationed and applying for military extensions are an essential part of military tax filing.


For military servicemembers, knowing where to send your federal tax return can be confusing when you are stationed in a different location from your permanent address. A good rule of thumb is to always send your federal tax return to the Internal Revenue Service Center for the place you currently live (this means where you are stationed, if that is your current location).

If you are a military serivcemember overseas and have an APO or FPO address, file your tax return at: Internal Revenue Service Center, Philadelphia PA 19255-0215.

Specific addresses for service centers are given for Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.


For the previous fiscal year, the filing due date is April 15th of the current year. For example, the filing deadline for 2008 tax returns is April 15, 2009. But you may be entitled to combat zone tax breaks if you are stationed in a designated combat zone or hazardous duty area stationed outside a combat zone. Check the details to know your tax timing at tax time, to avoid penalties and late fees.


W-2 form is the standard tax form for most employed American citizens. The W-2 form is used by employers, to report the salary amount paid to employees during the fiscal year. The W-2 also states total tax amounts deducted from your salary, such as federal tax, Social Security, Medicare, and state taxes.


Form 1099 is used to report income received from sources other than a full-time employer. For example, interest earned on a savings account, stock shares, or tax refunds from the previous year will all be claimed on form 1099.

Independent contractors or freelancers also use the 1099 to report income, if a company has paid you over $600 in the fiscal year then they are required to fill out a 1099 form documenting total amounts paid. This is a good opportunity to compare information received with your last paycheck, giving you the opportunity to sort out any mistakes with your employer.


Form 1040A is for individual taxpayers with a taxable income of $100,000 and above. Form 1040A is one of the simplest paper forms a taxpayer can file, but there are some qualifications in order to take this route. Form 1040A is only applicable to taxpayers who have capital gain distributions, are able to claim tax credits, and able to claim tax deductions for either your IRA contributions, student loan interest, or higher education tuition/fees.


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