Veterans Day presents the perfect opportunity to discuss overlooked military tax deductions.
- Veterans are top of mind as we honor our heroes on their special day, November 11.
- There’s never a bad time to talk about overlooked tax deductions.
For members of the military, the place to look for those deductions is in unreimbursed employee business expenses. These are your out-of-pocket expenses for items related to your job and can include uniforms, professional society dues and work-related expenses. For the most part, you can deduct expenses that exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
Let’s take a closer look.
Home is your permanent duty station. If you must leave your permanent duty station for longer than an ordinary day’s work, you may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses for business-related meals, lodging, laundry and more. If you claim car expenses, you can use the standard mileage rate, which is adjusted periodically, but most recently was 56.5 cents per mile. If you’re on official business and have “no cost” orders, you will not be able to deduct expenses.
You likely will be able to deduct expenses for the cost and upkeep of your uniform if you do not receive a uniform allowance. This typically includes military battle dress uniforms and utility uniforms that you cannot wear while off duty; articles that cannot replace regular clothing – insignia of rank, epaulets and swords are a few examples; and reservists’ uniform that you can wear only while performing reservist duties.
This applies to unreimbursed dues paid to professional societies directly related to your military position. You cannot deduct money paid to an officers’ club or a noncommissioned offers’ club.
Deductions can be applied only to qualifying work-related education. That means education is required by your employer or the law for you to keep your present salary, status or job, or the education maintains or improves skills needed in your job.
These are just a few items that can be overlooked military tax deductions. For more information, check out IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide. Don’t be selfish, share these tips with friends. Follow Liberty Tax on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Enjoy your Veterans Day, and thank you for serving our country and defending our liberty.
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