Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Military Finishing and Filing the Return

Options for Combat Zone Participants

Payment Deferments

Noncombat Service

Reservists called to active duty and enlistees in the Armed Forces might qualify for a deferral of taxes owed if they can show that their ability to pay taxes was affected by their military service. The Service members Civil Relief Act provides this benefit. The act covers active duty members of the military services and commissioned officers of the uniformed services.

The deferral is not automatic. A taxpayer must apply for it. A taxpayer must have received a notice of tax due, or have an installment agreement with the IRS, before applying for the deferral. When applying, the taxpayer must:

  • Be performing military service, and
  • Show how the member's ability to pay the income tax has been materially affected by military service

The IRS will review each request and advise the taxpayer in writing of its decision. The service member will then be allowed up to 180 days after termination or release from military service to pay the tax. If the tax is paid in full by the end of the deferral period, no interest or penalty will be charged for that period.