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Calling All Military Reservists: Don't Miss Chance To Save

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Calling All Military Reservists: Don't Miss Chance To Save
March 1, 2005

Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." We are reminded of this fact each year when it comes time to pay a portion of our hard-earned income to the government.

Over the last several years, Congress has worked to reduce this unrelenting burden by enacting several across the board tax cuts. Several of these tax relief measures have benefited members of our armed forces.

In fact, a new tax relief provision is now available to aid military reservists who travel to drill one weekend a month and two weeks each summer. For this service they are paid a monthly stipend, which added to the salary from their civilian job, is used to pay the rent or a mortgage, go to school, or cover costs associated with raising a family.

But when a military reservist attends drill, they are often forced to travel significant distances from their homes to report for duty. Any expense they incur along the way, like airplane tickets, fuel, meals, lodging and so forth, comes out of their own pocket. Often times, the costs associated with this travel are so great that reservists actually lose the money they earn from the military for that period of service.

When you lose money by training to defend your nation, you hardly have an incentive to become, or remain, a military reservist. In fact, you have a deterrent.

Congress properly addressed this unfortunate situation when it added a new tax relief provision to the tax code.

Under this clause, reservists who travel more than 100 miles to their drill stations can now make an "above the line" deduction on their income taxes for their out-of-pocket travel expenses.

Simply put, that means if reservists made $40,000 last year, and their reserve travel expenses were $1000, their adjusted income for tax purposes would be $39,000.

That's a significant savings for our reservists. More importantly, it leaves them with more choices on where to spend their hard-earned income.

So if you are a military reservist, and are preparing to file your taxes, take care not to miss out on this available tax relief. For more tax saving tips for members of the armed forces, I suggest you visit the web at www.military.com.

http://lamarsmith.house.gov/News.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=562

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