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If you are in the military, you should receive Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which reports your military pay. Some or all of the pay you received for military service in a combat zone may have been excluded from your taxable income. Commissioned officers' excludable
compensation is limited to the maximum enlisted amount. The military paymaster should have already calculated this exclusion, and it should not appear on your Form W-2, Box 1. The excluded portion of your pay is exempt from federal income tax, but remains subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes, and is included
with Social Security wages on your Form W-2, Box 3 and with your Medicare wages and tips in Box 5. Depending on your state, the excluded pay may be taxable to your state.
If the wages reported on your Form W-2, Box 1 include military pay that should have been excluded from your income under the combat zone exclusion provisions, you must get a corrected Form W-2 from your finance office. You cannot exclude on your return the amount that was incorrectly
reported on Form W-2, Box 1 without getting a corrected Form W-2.
You may be able to reduce your taxes by deducting certain unreimbursed expenses related to your employment with the military. Examples of some of the items you may be able to deduct include:
Other special tax relief provisions available to members of the Armed Forces and their families include:
The inclusion of combat pay in the earned income calculation for EIC remains an option for military members. Electing to include the combat pay may allow you to increase your EIC. Alternately, electing the option to exclude combat pay from your earned income
calculations may allow you to qualify for EIC. The election offers military members who have nontaxable income due to the combat zone exclusion provision a unique opportunity to determine the highest allowed EIC for their tax situation.