Field Report #249, March 3, 2006

Program expanded for Soldiers to earn $1,000 referral bonus
The $1,000 bonus for referring recruit applicants announced by the Army in January expanded recently to include more Soldiers as eligible to receive this payment.

Advisory Committee Recommends Big Changes to Military Pay System
A committee that's spent the past year studying the military compensation system is recommending sweeping changes that, if approved, would bring military compensation more on par with private-sector compensation.

Top 5 Reasons Why People Fail Boot Camp
Letís face it, basic training is tough. For the first time ever recruits find themselves having to wait for permission to eat or even go to the bathroom. Given the several weeks of rigorous mental and physical stress, itís no wonder that many recruits fail basic training before graduation.

Will Your Degree Have Value?
These days, everyone knows someone who's taking a class or even an entire degree program online. But if you're going to spend your precious time and hard-earned money on higher ed', you want to ensure a major return on your investment. Here's how.

DOD Proposes TRICARE Hikes For Younger Military Retirees
The Defense Department is proposing that working-age military retirees and their families pay higher premiums to help address health-care costs that have doubled during the past few years, senior DOD officials said here today.

Deferral of Back Taxes for Military

Reservists called to active duty and enlistees in the armed forces may qualify for a deferral of taxes owed if they can show that their ability to pay taxes was affected by their military service.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides this benefit, covers:
  • Active duty members of the military services ó Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
  • Commissioned officers of the uniformed services, Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Reservists placed on active duty.
  • National Guard personnel called to active duty by the president of the United States
The deferral applies to taxes due before or during military service, and extends the payment deadline to 180 days after the military service ends. No interest or penalty accrues during the deferral period.

The taxpayer must apply for the deferral, as it is not automatic. When applying, the taxpayer must show how the military service affected their ability to pay. A taxpayer must also have received a notice of tax due, or have an installment agreement with the IRS, before applying for the deferral.

The deferral does not extend the deadline for filing any tax returns. However, taxpayers in the armed forces may get extra time to file under other provisions, such as being stationed overseas, in a combat zone, in a qualified hazardous duty area, or if they are serving in direct support of a combat zone.

Details of applying for the tax payment deferral and information on a wide range of tax issues affecting members of the military are in IRS Publication 3, Armed Forcesí Tax Guide, which is available on the IRS Web site,, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Additional information on tax issues affecting the military, including information on what areas are considered combat zones, can be found on on the Individuals page under the Military tab.


Army Reserve offers $10,000 quick-ship bonus
FORT KNOX, Ky. Ė The U.S. Army Recruiting Command is offering a cash enlistment bonus of up to $10,000 for qualified Army Reserve recruits who enlist for at least three years and agree to report for training within 30 days of enlistment. This bonus may be combined other Reserve enlistment incentives, up to the maximum $20,000 bonus combination. Qualified Army Reserve applicants without previous military service who enlist for six years may qualify for combined bonuses of up to $20,000, depending on the Reserve unit vacancy and how quickly they can report to training.

The quick-ship bonus may also be combined with the Army Reserve Student Loan Repayment Program, which offers eligible recruits who enlist for at least six years in a Selected Reserve Troop Program Unit up to $10,000 toward qualifying student loans. Select Army Reserve jobs offer up to $20,000 toward qualifying student loans. To learn more about Army Reserve opportunities, visit your local Army recruiter or click here.

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