Income Tax Filing for Deployed Marines

Income Tax Filing for Deployed Marines

Your deployed Marine has 180 days (approximately 6 months) after returning stateside to complete his/her tax return. He/she will not pay a penalty if additional taxes are due as long as they file within 180 days.

Your Marine is also entitled to the "Combat Pay Exemption" which states that he/she will not pay taxes on income earned while deployed to a combat zone.

Your Marine will be given an opportunity to have a military accountant on a military installation assist with taxes upon return stateside. In most instances there is no charge for this service.

Some overseas locations, particularly those with established bases (but generally not combat zones) will have facilities to prepare taxes with your Marine during deployment.

Links and Online Information for Tax Filing

  • Defense Finance and Accounting Service Official website that has all information about military pay, tax information, and information on almost every possibility that exists that would affect military pay status. Also includes links for MyPay and all other official sites. Visit
  • Free Online Tax Filing to Many Members of Military The Internal Revenue Service reminds members of the military to take advantage of Free File, which allows taxpayers to prepare and e-file their federal income tax return online for free. Taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income of $52,000 or less in 2006 are eligible. Visit,,id=107626,00.html.

Combat Zone Extensions Expanded to Contingency Operations

The various extensions granted to combat zone participants to file returns or pay taxes will also apply to those serving in Contingency Operations, as designated by the Secretary of Defense. This is effective for any acts whose deadline has not expired before November 11, 2003. Click here to read more.

Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program

Payments made after November 11, 2003, under this program to offset the adverse effects on housing values of military base realignments or closures, will be excludable from income as a fringe benefit.

Dependent Care Assistance Program

For tax years after 2002, dependent care assistance programs for military personnel are excludable from income.

Military Academy Attendees

For tax years after 2002, the ten percent tax on payments from a Qualified Tuition Program or Coverdell Education Savings Account that are not used for educational expenses does not apply to attendees of the U.S. Military, Naval, Air Force, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine Academies, to the extent the payments do not exceed the costs of advanced education.

Additional Information

If a taxpayer no longer has copies of his or her previous tax returns, the taxpayer may use Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to order an earlier year's tax return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. The IRS charges $39 for each return requested, but charges nothing for a transcript. IRS forms are available on this Web site or by calling toll-free 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). More information on the Military Family Relief Act of 2003 and other tax issues affecting the military can be found in IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide, also available on this site or through 1-800-829-3676.

The tax laws provide some special benefits for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in combat zones.

For federal tax purposes, the U.S. Armed Forces includes officers and enlisted personnel in all regular and reserve units controlled by the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Coast Guard is also included, but not the U.S. Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross. However, these and other support personnel may qualify for certain tax deadline extensions because of their service in a combat zone.

Links and Online Information

Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide: Addresses a wide range of issues that may affect members of the military:

Written by David Ogden, Sgt. USMC '11-'16.

David Ogden, USMC

David was a Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps from 2011-2016. He is a combat veteran. He has worked at Marine Parents as a writer since he left the Marine Corps. He is currently in college and writes for the organization full-time. Click here to read more about the author.


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