The Internal Revenue Service has certain special tax breaks and programs for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Here are just a few.
Earned Income Tax Credit
If you get nontaxable combat pay, you may choose to include it in your taxable income. Including it may boost your earned income tax credit, meaning you may owe less tax and could get a larger refund. In 2015, the maximum credit for taxpayers was $6,242. The average amount of EITC claimed was more than $2,400. You may want to consider running both calculations to see what choice best benefits you.
Signing Joint Returns
As a rule, both spouses normally must sign a joint income tax return. If your spouse is absent due to military duty, you may be able to sign for your spouse. Keep in mind, however, that you may need a power of attorney to file a joint return.
If you leave the military and look for work, you may be able to deduct some job search expenses. You may be able to include the costs of travel, preparing a resume and job placement agency fees.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS
 IRS.gov, January 8, 2021