For federal tax purposes, the U.S. Armed Forces includes officers and enlisted personnel in all regular and reserve units controlled by the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Coast Guard is also included, but not the U.S. Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross. However, these and other support personnel may qualify for certain tax deadline extensions because of their service in a combat zone.
This publication covers the special tax situations of active members of the U.S. Armed Forces. It does not cover military pensions or Veterans' benefits or give the basic tax rules that apply to all taxpayers.