The IRS provides accommodating tax extensions for members of the U.S. military in appreciation of their service. If you qualify as eligible military personnel, you may be able to extend the due dates for filing and paying your Federal income taxes. Here are some important things you should know about military tax extensions.
Tax Extensions for Military Deployed Outside the U.S.
People who are serving in the U.S. military overseas during the time their tax return is due are granted an automatic extension of 2 extra months to file. No form has to be submitted to receive this 2-month extension. For calendar year taxpayers, this will automatically extend their deadline to June 15. Apart from this, you can also apply for an additional tax extension using IRS Form 4868 to get another 4 months to file, moving your deadline to October 15. Note that this tax extension is specifically for members of the U.S. military who are deployed in non-combat zones.
Tax Extensions for Military Deployed in Active Combat Zones
There are even more options for people who are serving the U.S. military in an active combat zone or contingency operation area. The tax extensions for these individuals are as follows:
• 180-day extension, starting on the day after your last day in an active combat zone or contingency operation area
• 180-day extension, starting on the day after your last day in an infirmary or hospital as a result of injuries from an active combat zone or contingency operation area (up to 5 years)
No penalties or late fess will be charged during the allowed tax extension period. Keep in mind, these special extensions only apply to the time spent in a lethal zone. For example, if you took off for a non-combat destination but then was reassigned to an active combat area, the IRS will grant you a tax extension starting on the date you got to the combat zone. Note that there are also certain tax extensions for spouses of military personnel serving in a combat or contingency operation area.
Extended Deadlines for U.S. Military Personnel
The deadline extension provision applies to the following actions, as stated by the IRS:
• Filing tax returns for income tax, employment tax, estate tax, gift tax, or excise tax
• Paying income tax, employment tax, estate tax, gift tax, or excise tax
• Filing a petition with the Tax Court (for deficiency redetermination or to review a decision)
• Filing a claim for credit or refund of any tax
• Bringing suit for any claim for credit or refund
• Allowing a credit or refund of any tax by the IRS
• Making a qualified contribution to an IRA or other retirement account
• Giving/making any notice or demand by the IRS for payment of any tax (or for any tax liability)
• Assessment of any tax by the IRS
• IRS Collection of any tax due
• Bringing suit by the U.S. for any tax due
For more information, see IRS Publication 3 (Armed Forces’ Tax Guide).
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