Relief From IRS Action For Deployed Military Personnel

Posted on: October 22, 2013 | By: dunn_access | Civil Tax Controversies

Internal Revenue Code § 7508 postpones certain Federal tax obligations for individuals serving in a combat zone.  The postponed obligations include:

  • Filing tax returns.
  • Paying taxes.
  • Filing claims for refunds.
  • Taking other actions with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The postponement is for the period of service in the combat zone, plus period of continuous hospitalization outside of the United States as a result of injury sustained while serving in the combat zone, plus 180 days following such service. Significantly, the IRS has administratively expanded § 7508 to provide that, where the postponement applies, IRS will also cease all enforcement action against the eligible service member or support personnel, or the spouse of either, during the postponement period. IRM

The postponement applies to the following service:

  • Service in the United States Armed Forces (Armed Forces), or in support of the Armed Forces in an area designated as a “combat zone” by the President of the United States (President) in an Executive Order.
  • Service in the Armed Forces or in support of the Armed Forces when deployed outside the United States away from the individual’s permanent duty station while participating in an operation designated as a “contingency operation” by the Secretary of Defense.
  • Service in the Armed Forces in an area designated by Congress as a “qualified hazardous duty area.”

Certain individuals who serve in support of the Armed Forces in a combat zone are eligible for the postponement. They include:

  • Merchant Marines serving aboard vessels under the operation and control of the Department of Defense.
  • Red Cross personnel.
  • Accredited Correspondents.
  • Civilian personnel acting under the direction of the Armed Forces, in support of the Armed Forces.

Military service performed outside a combat zone but within a “qualified hazardous duty area” is treated in the same manner as if the area was a combat zone if:

  • The service is in direct support of the military operations in a combat zone, and
  • The service qualifies the individual for special military pay for duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger.

To avail of the postponement of IRS enforcement action, the representative of the deployed Armed Forces member or support worker, or of the spouse of either, should call the IRS office threatening or taking enforcement action.  The representative should explain to the IRS office that the enforcement action concerns a deployed Armed Forces member or support worker, or the spouse of either.  The representative should fax the Armed Forces member’s military deployment orders or the support worker’s civilian orders to the IRS office.  In the absence of the military or civilian orders, or a statement from the Department of Defense attesting to the deployment, a statement from the deployed individual’s spouse or attorney may suffice.