The IRS encouraged members of the military and their families to learn more about the special tax benefits available to them. MilTax, a Department of Defense program generally offers free return preparation and e-filing software for all military members and some veterans, with no income limit. This includes federal tax returns and up to three state income tax returns for each qualified user. Additionally, many military bases offer free tax preparation and filing assistance during the tax filing season. Some also offer free tax help after the April tax filing deadline.

Further, the IRS provided a list of several of the key benefits mentioned in IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide. This includes Combat Pay, which is partially or fully tax-free. Additionally, members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone or are serving in contingency operations outside the U.S., can postpone most tax deadlines. Low and moderate income service members who receive nontaxable combat pay can use a special computation method that may boost the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), meaning they may owe less tax or get a larger refund. Moreover, dependent care assistance programs for military personnel are excludable benefits and not included in the military member’s income. Members of the armed forces on active duty may also be eligible to deduct unreimbursed moving expenses if their move was due to a military order and permanent change of station.

Additionally, both spouses normally must sign a joint income tax return, but if one spouse is absent due to certain military duties or conditions, the other spouse may be able to sign for him or her. As a reminder, the IRS has a special page on with Tax Information for Members of the U.S. armed forces.