About 60,000 active-duty troops and reservists owe the IRS roughly $390 million in back taxes, in part because of confusion caused by frequent overseas deployments and address changes.
“Military tax returns are a little more complicated,” said Theresa Buchholz, a tax research analyst with H&R Block Tax Services in Kansas City, Mo.
Among the reasons servicemembers are susceptible to tax troubles:
•Confusion over eligibility rules for a tax break on income earned while serving in combat zones.
•Frequent moves that increase the odds tax documents are mailed to an old address.
•Risk of deployed troops missing deadlines for response to IRS queries.
Straightening out the problem can be a headache, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steven Millard, who blames his tax troubles a few years ago on a back-to-back deployment and family move.