How to File Service Tax Returns

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Filing your taxes can be done later if you are in the service.
Filing your taxes can be done later if you are in the service. (Image: money money money image by Arman Zhenikeyev from Fotolia.com)

Filing taxes can be stressful under any circumstance, but knowing the laws of taxpaying while in the military can be confusing. Normally, taxpayers who are stationed in the United States and Puerto Rico must file their taxes like everyone else, by April 15. There are exceptions for those stationed outside of the United States. Taxpayers stationed in another country are given a two-month grace period to file. Although filing taxes can be done as late as June 15, if there is any tax owed to the Internal Revenue Service, it must be done by the April 15 deadline. If the taxpayer cannot pay the amount in full, he must contact the IRS to be placed on a payment plan.

Start preparation a few months before April 15. A taxpayer stationed outside of the United States or Puerto Rico must write "Taxpayer Abroad" on the top of her 1040, and the form must be accompanied by an explanation of her business for being outside of the United States.

Pay any tax due by April 15.

Set up a payment arrangement with the IRS if you cannot pay the tax in full by April 15. All taxes must be either paid in full, or a payment arrangement must be enacted by the original April 15 tax deadline. If the taxpayer cannot complete the required forms by the deadline, a spouse or family member can file them on behalf of the taxpayer.

File your taxes by June 15 in order to comply with the extension deadline and avoid penalties. Make sure to write "Taxpayer Abroad" at the top of your form.

File a Form 4868 to add an extension until Oct. 15 if you cannot file taxes by June 15. Make sure to write "Taxpayer Abroad" at the top of your form. Keep in mind the extensions are only applicable to the paper returns themselves.

File your taxes by Oct. 15.

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