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Published:   |   Last Updated: October 26, 2023

Resources for Military Personnel and Their Families

The IRS has a variety of resources to help members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families navigate the unique and sometimes complex special tax situations and benefits that come with filing federal tax returns and paying federal taxes.

What do I need to know?

Active duty or reserve members of the U.S. Armed Forces may be eligible for military tax benefits. Recently retired or separated members may also be eligible for benefits.

 Note: The U.S. Armed Forces does not include the U.S. Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross. Your military status affects whether you are eligible for certain benefits.

 Here’s a list of some of the tax-related resources you may find helpful:

Service in a Combat Zone or Qualified Hazardous Duty Area

There are rules specific for Armed Forces members who serve in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area. These taxpayers and their families can find out more on the Tax Exclusion for Combat Service page, including the Questions & Answers on Combat Zone Tax Provisions page of IRS.gov. If you fall into this category, you should also review special EITC rules. If these apply to your tax situation, it could lead to a larger refund.

Active-duty military serving in a combat zone or a hazardous duty area often have more time to file their tax returns. However, those with spouses and families may wish to file as soon as they are able to claim various tax benefits and get any refund. If only one spouse is present to file a joint return, they must have proper authorization to file a joint tax return on behalf of their spouse.

Veterans and Disabled Veterans

There is information and resources specific to veterans and disabled veterans. Start with reviewing the Information for Veterans, Special Tax Considerations for Veterans and the Resource for Disabled Veterans page on IRS.gov.

If you are a disabled veteran, you may be eligible to claim a federal tax refund based on special tax considerations. You may also need to file an amended return, and in certain situations, will have more time to file a claim for refund. See the links below for more information:

What should I do?

Get general information about how to file and pay taxes, including many free services by visiting the Individuals page.

Check if you are eligible for military tax benefits.

How will this affect me?

Federal tax return preparation and filing resources

Military OneSource, a program offered by the Department of Defense, provides a range of free resources for military members, veterans, and their families. MilTax, Military OneSource’s tax service, provides online software to electronically file a federal and up to three state tax returns for free, regardless of income. Military OneSource is available online at MilitaryOneSource.mil or by calling 800-342-9647.

Taxpayers who do not qualify for MilTax have other options to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns for free. Those whose Adjusted Gross Income is $73,000 or less could use IRS Free File software.

Free face-to-face tax return preparation services by volunteers is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. Both have helped prepare many military-related tax returns and are often located on military installations closer to the filing season each year. Veterans may also qualify for free tax help at locations nationwide. You do need to meet income or age requirements to use either of these free services.

Wait, I still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Resources and Guidance


Did you know there is a Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

The taxpayer Bill of Rights is grouped into 10 easy to understand categories outlining the taxpayer rights and protections embedded in the tax code.

It is also what guides the advocacy work we do for taxpayers.

Read more about your rights