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Tax Opportunities For Military Members

Nov 11, 2016 | Taxes, Career & Business

US sailors salute the flag in honor of military members

Each Veterans Day, SageVest Wealth Management is proud to join the rest of our nation in offering thanks to the brave men and women who defend our everyday freedoms. We thank you for your service.

Gratitude for your dedication also comes from perhaps a more unexpected source: namely, the IRS and state tax agencies. There are a variety of special Federal and state tax breaks available only to members of the US Armed Forces; because the sacrifices that you and your family make should not extend to your finances.

Tax Returns

  • Most military bases offer free tax preparation and filing assistance, especially during tax season.
  • If you’re married and filing jointly, both spouses must normally sign the tax return forms. However, if you’re absent while fulfilling certain military duties, an executed power of attorney may enable your spouse to sign the return on your behalf.
  • If you’re serving in a combat zone, you’re entitled to extend the deadline to file your return and to pay any taxes due.

Tax Deductions

  • If you move house as a result of a permanent change of station, you may be able to deduct some of your moving costs.
  • After deducting any allowances that you may receive from other sources, you may be able to deduct the cost of purchasing and maintaining certain uniforms.
  • If your Reserve-related duties take you more than 100 miles from home, you may be able to deduct travel expenses (if they’re not reimbursed from other sources).

Pay Exclusions

  • Any combat pay you receive is partially or fully tax-free. That said, opting to include this non-taxable pay in your annual income figure boosts your Earned Income Tax Credit, meaning that you’ll owe less tax overall and may receive a bigger refund.
  • While active duty ROTC pay is taxable, some other ROTC pay is tax-free e.g., amounts paid while you’re in advanced training.

Civilian Life

  • As you transition out of the Armed Forces, you may be able to deduct some job search expenses e.g., travel expenses and costs associated with preparing your résumé.
  • Many state governments provide property tax relief for disabled Veterans.
  • Under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, you may be able to transfer educational benefits to your kids to cover college tuition. However, there are conditions that must be met in order to make this election. You must have served for a minimum of six years. You must also commit to a further four years of service. Therefore, in order to maximize this opportunity for your family, we advise eligible clients to include this decision as part of your longer-term financial and career planning.

SageVest Wealth Management is dedicated to helping our clients to achieve financial success, including those who have served our country in the armed services, Federal or state governments, the World Bank, or other civil service employment. We invite you to contact us for more information.

You can find out more about these and other special opportunities available to military members and Veterans on our website or by visiting the IRS website.

Prepared by SageVest Wealth Management. Copyright .
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The information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed. This article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed are those of SageVest Wealth Management and should not be construed as investment advice. All expressions of opinions are subject to change and past performance is no guarantee of future results. SageVest Wealth Management does not render legal, tax, or accounting services. Accordingly, you, your attorneys and your accountants are ultimately responsible for determining the legal, tax and accounting consequences of any suggestions offered herein.

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