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

Filing a Decedent Return

Special tax-forgiveness provisions apply to individuals who die:

  • While serving in a combat zone or from wounds, disease, or other injury incurred while serving in a combat zone or
  • From wounds or injury incurred in a terrorist or military action while working for the U.S. government
Tip

Only the decedent's part of the joint income tax liability is eligible for the refund or tax forgiveness.

The forgiveness applies to:

  • The tax year death occurred and
  • Any earlier tax year in the period beginning with the year before the year in which the wounds or injury occurred

Any forgiven tax liability that has already been paid will be refunded.

In addition, any unpaid taxes for years ending before the member began service in a combat zone will be forgiven, and any of those taxes that are paid after the date of death will be refunded.

In any case, the personal representative (executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the decedent's property) must file:

  • The decedent's final Form 1040 for the year of death and
  • Any prior year returns not filed ending on or after the first day that the individual served in a combat zone

Any forgiven tax liability that has already been paid will be refunded.

Military cemetery.