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Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant
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Experience:  3+ decades of varied tax industry exp. Tax Biz owner
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My husband left for Iraq in August of 2010 and returned back

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My husband left for Iraq in August of 2010 and returned back home in August 2011. I filed taxes for what he made in 2010 but he is telling me I messed up by not going from August to August on his taxes. I always no matter what you file taxes every year. He had to be out of the country 330 days. Is there such a law that if you work out of the country, you can file from August to August?

Hello, THANK YOU for choosing Just Answer. My goal is to help make your life...a little...LESS taxing.

You cannot file from August to August. Filing due dates are usually April 15th, or October 15th, unless serving in a combat zone. You mentioning the 330 days, sounds as if your husband is referring to the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which government employees and members of the military are not eligible for. SEE BELOW:


Refer To Foreign Sourced Income

Certain taxpayers can exclude income earned in foreign countries. For 2010, this exclusion amount can be as much as $91,500. However, the foreign earned income exclusion does not apply to the wages and salaries of military and civilian employees of the U.S. Government.

Employees of the U.S. Government include those who work at United States Armed Forces exchanges, commissioned and noncommissioned officers' messes, Armed Forces motion picture services, and similar personnel. Other foreign income earned by military personnel or their spouses may be eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion. For more information on the exclusion, see Publication 54. On the other hand, it does sound like he means to refer to the Combat Zone Exclusion. SEE BELOW:

Amount of Exclusion

If you are an enlisted member, warrant officer, or commissioned warrant officer and you serve in a combat zone during any part of a month, you can exclude all of your military pay for that month. It should not be included in the wages reported on your Form W-2. You also can exclude military pay earned while you are hospitalized as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred in the combat zone. If you are hospitalized, you cannot exclude any military pay received for any month of service that begins more than 2 years after the end of combat activities in the combat zone. Your hospitalization does not have to be in the combat zone.

If you are a commissioned officer (other than a commissioned warrant officer), you can exclude your pay according to the rules just discussed. However, the amount of your exclusion is limited to the highest rate of enlisted pay (plus imminent danger/hostile fire pay you received) for each month during any part of which you served in a combat zone or were hospitalized as a result of your service there.

The combat zone exclusion is not based on being in a foreign country for 330 days. Since he was in a combat zone from Aug. 2010 to Aug. 2011, you would claim the exclusion from Aug-Dec. 2010 on the 2010 tax return, and for tax year 2011, you would claim the exclusion for Jan. - August. You will need to amend the 2010 tax return to exclude his income from Aug.-Dec. only.
Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3443
Experience: 3+ decades of varied tax industry exp. Tax Biz owner
Tax.appeal.168 and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

Sorry that you are dealing with the stress. Stress and the IRS seem to go together. The CPA prepared the return correctly. The tax filing year is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31st. to the best of my knowledge, this has not changed...not even for members of the military. I'm not sure where your husband is getting the information from. However, just in case I am missing something, I will check into the matter further and get back to you with my findings.

Thank you.
Hello again,

Here is some other information that I found;

Extra Time for Tax Filing

If a service member is serving in a designated combat zone, is deployed in a “contingency operation” or is hospitalized outside the United States because of an injury received while serving in a combat zone or in a contingency operation, the due date of the service member’s return is postponed for the period of the combat service or hospitalization plus 180 days. In addition, no interest or penalties will be assessed.

The combat zone/contingency operation filing extension (which also includes service in qualifiedhazardous duty areas) also applies to other tax-related time limits. This includes such things as paying income and estate taxes, instituting Tax Court proceedings, filing refund claims, making contributions to qualified retirement plans and taking distributions from IRAs.

“Taxpayers should write ‘Combat Zone’ across the top of returns and documents to bring these items to the immediate attention of the IRS or the Tax Court,” Luscombe noted. Also, members of the military who are on duty outside the United States or Puerto Rico (but who are not serving in a combat zone) have until June 15 to file their taxes. Interest will accrue from the normal due date until the time of payment.

What the first paragraph means is that the military person has an extended time to file if they are in a combat zone. It does not mean that you lump two tax years together. I hope this clarifies matters for your husband.

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