Tax Breaks for the Military

Tax Breaks for the Military

American Flag - Mirror ImageAre you a member of the U.S. military?  If so, first of all, thank you for your service.  Secondly, you may be entitled to tax breaks.  Following are some examples:

Possible postponement of the tax filing deadline for those serving in in combat zones.  If you qualify, you are entitled to an automatic extension.

Some combat pay may be excluded from taxable income.  The month for which you receive the pay must be a month in which you either served in a combat zone or were hospitalized as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone.

You may be able to deduct some unreimbursed moving expenses if you are being transferred to a new location.   Utilize Form 3903 when filing your return.

Those in the Reserves may be able to take deductions for certain travel expenses, if their reserve duties take them more than 100 miles away from home.  These expenses would be claimed on Form 2106.

Costs incurred for uniforms (purchase and care) may be deducted.  You generally can’t deduct the cost of your uniforms if you are on full-time active duty in the armed forces. However, if you are an armed forces reservist, you can deduct the unreimbursed cost of your uniform if military regulations restrict you from wearing it except while on duty as a reservist. In figuring the deduction, you must reduce the cost by any nontaxable allowance you receive for these expenses.

Following are additional resources:


Ohio also offers tax provisions for the current and retired military.

Law Change for Taxable Years 2008 and Forward: Effective for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2007, military retirement pay of taxpayers who retired from the active or reserve components of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or from the National Guard, and Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) benefit recipients, are exempt from Ohio income tax and from Ohio school district income tax. Eligible taxpayers can use Ohio Schedule A, line 26, to deduct such retirement pay included in federal adjusted gross income on the current Ohio income tax form IT 1040.  This deduction also applies to such amounts received by the surviving spouse or the former spouse of each military retiree who is receiving payments under the Survivor Benefit Plan.

If you need additional help, you can reach Ohio Department of Taxation by e-mail at

Colleen Minnich

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