Paycheck Chronicles

Oh, How I Love The IRS


Being in the military means that there are all sorts of special rules for filing your income tax returns.  From automatic extensions of time to file, to not having to count combat pay for earned income purposes, to some allowances being non-taxable - it's not easy to keep track of all the details.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time each year dealing with all the tax stuff that comes with being a military family.  Most of it is a benefit to us, so it is definitely worth my energy, but it is a lot of work.

The IRS, I must say, does not make it any easier.  They are forever writing to us and asking questions about the dates that my husband has gone in and out of combat zones, or disallowing some credit for some cockamamie reason, or questioning my application of the rules that are listed right in their very own Publication 3,  the Armed Forces Tax Guide.

Today, I was delighted to find amongst my many papers a thin little envelope from the IRS.  Upon closer inspection, it was asking my husband to verify the dates he was in a combat zone in 2009-2o1o.  And it was required to be returned by today.  Via mail, or fax.  No email for the IRS.

Since we're overseas, and we don't have a phone line at our house, this was a bit problematic.  Eventually we figured out that we could scan the form, send it to my husband's parents, and ask them to fax it for us.  Thank goodness for really helpful parents!

I've heard stories of the IRS coming and asking for old, old information about deployments and trips.  Have any of you had this experience?  Anything good or bad come of it?  This is the second time we've been asked to verify my husband's combat zone dates, and he doesn't go away much.  Do they check everyone?  How often does this happen?  Curious minds want to know.

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