Are there automatic filing extensions for military personnel?
A person serving in the Red Cross or under the direction of the military while in a qualified combat zone receives the same treatment as military personnel. When individuals serve in a qualified combat zone, the filing deadline increases by 180 days after the latter of the last day in a qualified combat zone or the last day of a continuous hospitalization related to injury from service. Currently the qualified combat zones include-
- The Arabian Peninsula Area: The Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea (north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude), Gulf of Aden, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates
- The Kosovo Area: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Albania, Adriatic Sea, and Ionian Sea (north of the 39th Parallel)
There are a handful of other places that are also qualified combat zones.
In addition, service in an area outside of an official combat zone may be considered (for tax purposes) to be performed in a combat zone if the Department of Defense has declared the service to be in direct support of operations occurring in a combat zone.
In addition to the 180 days, a service member in a qualified combat zone can receive a deadline extension of up to three and half months based on the days remaining to file upon entering the combat zone. For example, if you enter a combat zone on March 1, you get 180 days after leaving the combat zone plus another 45 days. This is representative of the time normally allotted for filing taxes (January 1 to April 15). If entering the combat zone before the first of the year, the service member may add the entire three and half months to the 180-day extension.