tax refund after deployment? — The Bump
Military Families

tax refund after deployment?

Hey everyone!  This is the first year that my husband has been deployed and I'm just wondering how that effects our tax refund.  Will we not get very much back since they didn't take out taxes while he was deployed? 

Re: tax refund after deployment?

  • In our experience, if you have no children, you don't work, and he is home none of the year, you won't get anything. When DH came home from last deployment, he was home the month of December and we really just got back the taxes taken out for Dec (maybe 200-300 bucks?). Now if you have kids, obviously you'll get the money for them.

    HTH 

  • We always get a TON back when DH is deployed.  They don't take taxes out because that pay is not eligible to have taxes removed, so it's not like it's all of a sudden going to show at the end of the year.  So, for simplicity, say DH made $50,000/yr and has been deployed 8 mos.  This year it says he made less than $20,000 for the entire year (because of his 4 mos of taxable pay).  You don't report the money he got while deployed.  Because that obviously is a huge taxable difference, we get tons of $$ back on refund.  I know it also depends on what you pay out, for instance, we have a mortgage, student loans, own 2 vehicles (the taxes are deductible), contribute to an IRA, etc.  So basically the IRS looks at us and is like "dang, look at all the crap they have and they made NO money this year" so we usually get a ton back.  Does that make sense?  It will differ depending on your situation, like whether or not you itimize.  But regardless it should not negatively affect your refund if you've gotten large refunds in the past. 
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  • image lily37:
    We always get a TON back when DH is deployed.  They don't take taxes out because that pay is not eligible to have taxes removed, so it's not like it's all of a sudden going to show at the end of the year.  So, for simplicity, say DH made $50,000/yr and has been deployed 8 mos.  This year it says he made less than $20,000 for the entire year (because of his 4 mos of taxable pay).  You don't report the money he got while deployed.  Because that obviously is a huge taxable difference, we get tons of $$ back on refund.  I know it also depends on what you pay out, for instance, we have a mortgage, student loans, own 2 vehicles (the taxes are deductible), contribute to an IRA, etc.  So basically the IRS looks at us and is like "dang, look at all the crap they have and they made NO money this year" so we usually get a ton back.  Does that make sense?  It will differ depending on your situation, like whether or not you itimize.  But regardless it should not negatively affect your refund if you've gotten large refunds in the past. 

    This makes me feel like I've been doing something wrong....lol 

  • image Mlatch:

    image lily37:
    We always get a TON back when DH is deployed.  They don't take taxes out because that pay is not eligible to have taxes removed, so it's not like it's all of a sudden going to show at the end of the year.  So, for simplicity, say DH made $50,000/yr and has been deployed 8 mos.  This year it says he made less than $20,000 for the entire year (because of his 4 mos of taxable pay).  You don't report the money he got while deployed.  Because that obviously is a huge taxable difference, we get tons of $$ back on refund.  I know it also depends on what you pay out, for instance, we have a mortgage, student loans, own 2 vehicles (the taxes are deductible), contribute to an IRA, etc.  So basically the IRS looks at us and is like "dang, look at all the crap they have and they made NO money this year" so we usually get a ton back.  Does that make sense?  It will differ depending on your situation, like whether or not you itimize.  But regardless it should not negatively affect your refund if you've gotten large refunds in the past. 

    This makes me feel like I've been doing something wrong....lol 

     

    Me too.  When DH was deployed for all but 2 months out of a year, our refund was significantly less because they weren't taxing the 10 months of income he had while deployed so there was less to receive back.  I always thought no taxes = no money to refund back because we got to keep it in our monthly pay instead of paying it in taxes.  This was before we had kids though so we didn't have any child tax credits, etc. 


  • A tax refund is used to refund taxes you paid.  The less taxes you paid, the less of a refund you will get. 
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  • DH was deployed for 8 months of 2009. We claim minimal deductions. I don't work outside the house. We had our first child in 2009. We got a lot more back than I expected. We shall see what we get this year with half the deployment time and a promotion in the equation.
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  • image JENandJEH:
    image Mlatch:

    image lily37:
    We always get a TON back when DH is deployed.  They don't take taxes out because that pay is not eligible to have taxes removed, so it's not like it's all of a sudden going to show at the end of the year.  So, for simplicity, say DH made $50,000/yr and has been deployed 8 mos.  This year it says he made less than $20,000 for the entire year (because of his 4 mos of taxable pay).  You don't report the money he got while deployed.  Because that obviously is a huge taxable difference, we get tons of $$ back on refund.  I know it also depends on what you pay out, for instance, we have a mortgage, student loans, own 2 vehicles (the taxes are deductible), contribute to an IRA, etc.  So basically the IRS looks at us and is like "dang, look at all the crap they have and they made NO money this year" so we usually get a ton back.  Does that make sense?  It will differ depending on your situation, like whether or not you itimize.  But regardless it should not negatively affect your refund if you've gotten large refunds in the past. 

    This makes me feel like I've been doing something wrong....lol 

     

    Me too.  When DH was deployed for all but 2 months out of a year, our refund was significantly less because they weren't taxing the 10 months of income he had while deployed so there was less to receive back.  I always thought no taxes = no money to refund back because we got to keep it in our monthly pay instead of paying it in taxes.  This was before we had kids though so we didn't have any child tax credits, etc. 

    This.

    And the tax form DOES ask you for the amount of your un-taxable so its not like you can make them think "oh these people didn't get paid and are poor". Ya know? You have to report that money, it just isn't held against you in terms of you owing money on it. At least that is my understanding. 

    I think the tax free money is labels "Q." on the W-2, and there is a spot on the 1040 (or whatever form you use) that asks for whatever number is in box Q. Right?

    The only way deployment has helped me when it comes to government funding is the Pell Grant because they do not require you to report the combat related tax free money. 

    Someone set me straight if I'm wrong about this, but I've had to do this twice and that was what I did. 

  • image Mlatch:
    And the tax form DOES ask you for the amount of your un-taxable so its not like you can make them think "oh these people didn't get paid and are poor". Ya know? You have to report that money, it just isn't held against you in terms of you owing money on it. At least that is my understanding. 

    This is exactly right.  Just because you didn't pay taxes on it, doesn't mean the gov't thinks you got paid less.  You have to report his full earnings and the gov't is going to see what he made, notice it wasn't taxed, and then not refund you anything (since you didn't pay anything).

    Other factors may play into your specific situation, ie having a kid, paying for schooling, etc, but just based on his deployment pay, you will get a smaller refund than normal because there is nothing for them to repay you.

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  • I could be wrong, I'm definitely not a tax professional.  But we have an accountant do our stuff every year and this is what they've told me.  Like I said in my previous post, it could just be because we itimize that we get so much back.  But we do get credits for things because the IRS thinks we're "low income" when DH gets his W2 back at the end of the year, i.e. putting the amt we puts towards our IRAs gives you a credit we wouldn't normally get.  Also, as I said before, it absolutely should not negatively affect your bottom line if you've gotten large refunds in the past. 
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