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Military affairs beat: Tax credits available for combat zone vets

  • Article by: Mark Brunswick
  • Star Tribune
  • December 20, 2011 - 9:25 PM

The Minnesota Department of Revenue is reminding members of the military that they might be eligible for thousands of dollars in military-related tax benefits.

The credit for military service in a combat zone is available to those who have recently served in a designated combat zone or hazardous-duty area. For service in 2007 and 2008, the credit is a refund equal to $59 for each month (or partial month) of service in one of the designated areas. The credit is $120 for each month served beginning Jan. 1, 2009. If military members have not claimed their credits, they can still file to receive the credit for time served in 2008, 2009 and 2010. They must file before Oct. 15, 2012, to receive credit for months served in 2008.

To claim the credit, members of the military should complete and file form M99, Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone, for the period in which they served. The department will accept the 2011 form M99 beginning Jan. 1, 2012, for combat-zone service performed in 2011. The form M99 is filed separately from form M1, the Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return.

Service members are eligible to receive a credit for military time served in a combat zone if they served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area anytime on or after Jan. 1, 2008; if the pay they received qualifies to be excluded as combat pay from federal gross income under Internal Revenue Code Section 112, and if Minnesota was their home of record during months of service.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue helps service members complete the necessary forms for the military credit and assists with other tax matters.

More than 24,000 Minnesota service members have filed for refunds totaling more than $11,877,000. For more information about the tax credit, including required documentation and forms, go to www.taxes.state.mn.us or call 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094. Information on additional credits and tax relief for members of the military is also on the state site; select the military personnel section.

mbrunswick@startribune.com • 612-673-4434

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