Knowledge Base

10790: Combat Zone and Contingency Operation Extensions

1040 Individual Generally

Do I have to file an extension for a military taxpayer? Are there any other rules for those serving in a combat zone when the tax return is due? Can the payment deadline be extended?

Members of the U.S. Military who are stationed outside of the United States on the regular due date are eligible for an automatic extension of time to file until June 15th. This does extend the time to pay, however, Publication 3 states, "You will be charged interest on any amount not paid by the regular due date until the date the tax is paid." To indicate this automatic extension, check the box Military Service Outside of the U.S. on the MISC screen. This generates the supporting statement DUE_DATE in view mode that states they requested an automatic two month extension for this reason:

The Taxpayer is requesting an automatic two-month extension because: Taxpayer is a U.S. Citizen or resident alien and on the regular due date of the return, taxpayer is in military or naval service outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Military personnel who are in a combat zone or contingency operation may qualify for additional extensions of time to file, pay tax due, or claim a refund past June 15th without filing an extension Form 4868. Complete the Military section on the top right of the MISC screen, to produce a literal of the combat zone at the top of Form 1040.

Per Publication 3, starting on page 27,

"Your deadline for filing your return, paying your tax, claiming a refund, and taking other actions with the IRS is extended in two steps.

First, your deadline is extended for 180 days after the later of the following.

1. The last day you are in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside of the combat zone, or serve in a contingency operation (or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone or the operation qualifies as a contingency operation).

2. The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization (defined later) for injury from service in the combat zone or contingency operation or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone.

Second, in addition to the 180 days, your deadline is extended by the number of days that were left for you to take the action with the IRS when you entered a combat zone (or began performing qualifying service outside the combat zone) or began serving in a contingency operation. If you entered the combat zone or began serving in the contingency operation before the period of time to take the action began, your deadline is extended by the entire period of time you have to take the action."

Consult Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide and Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2007-34 (Rev. Proc. 2007-56) for more information about deadline extensions for a taxpayer who serves in a combat zone or in a contingency operation. Examples and other important information should be fully reviewed if you have an applicable taxpayer. The only indications in Drake Tax are made on the MISC screen as described above; you may want to contact the IRS for more information. 

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