Like many Americans who are privileged with tax deductions, you are also eligible for tax dedications as a military reservist. The deductions apparently are based on your unique needs, military work demands, and lifestyle. To help you, here are the tax-deductible expenses and how they are used for tax deductions.
- Calculate your travel expenses. These expenses cover the expenditures made for a more than 100-mile travel from home or permanent station. The travel must be made in response to the call of duty and not because of personal purposes or pleasure. Travel expenses include meal, lodging, phone calls, and all other work-related expenditures made during your travel. Overseas work-related travel, however, is not tax-deductible, unless your permanent station is in the US. Make sure to add up all the travel expenses and factor them in your tax return.
- Include transportation expenses. Your transportation expenses when traveling from your job location to another, going to another work-related site, or staying in one place overnight are all deductible. If you drive a car specifically, you can deduct transportation expenses based on your mileage, toll fees, and parking fees.
- Take into account moving expenses. Moving constitutes permanent transfer of location, like transferring from your house to your post, from one post to another, and from one post to your house. Reimbursements are usually given to cover all moving expenditures. But in case the expenses go beyond the reimbursement, the moving expenses are deductible. Moving expenses refer to hauling, insurance, and packing, among other things.
- Factor in uniform expenses. Expenses involved in maintaining uniforms can be deducted, but only if these uniforms are not to be used off-duty, can’t be worn in place of regular clothes, and are only to be worn while performing the duties of a reservist. Military articles like insignia, epaulets, and swords are also tax-deductible. Deductions are applicable if the issued reimbursement can’t cover the uniform expenses.
- Include educational expenses. You can also deduct the cost of taking classes, provided that the classes are necessary for keeping your job, approved by your employer, and necessary for the improvement of your skills. These classes, however, are not intended to secure you a new job.
- Summarize professional organization fees. Any fees paid to a professional organization related to your military specialization can be deducted from your tax. Remember, however, that this strictly applies to professional societies only; officers’ club fees are not tax-deductible.
The deadline for filing tax return for military reservists also falls on April 15. But a deadline extension is imposed for those who are in the battle zone or outside their permanent posts (whether in or out of the US). A 180-day extension is granted to those who can’t file their tax return by the deadline, but an even longer deadline may be arranged in special cases. For more information about tax deductions, please go to the official website of the Internal Revenue Service. Browse Publication 3, which specifically answers military tax concerns. Better yet, inquire from your tax professional.