We owe United States veterans a debt of gratitude we can never repay. They were willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom.

The Internal Revenue Service, IRS, does have a system in place that can help veterans adjust to civilian life. This is particularly true if they became disabled during or after serving the country.

Veterans have a variety of tax benefits that can be used to maximize their tax returns when filing income taxes. The federal government, and most states, offer a variety of tax benefits for veterans. In this guide, we’ll help you understand more about these tax benefits and how to obtain them.

Eligibility for Veteran Tax Benefits

To qualify for veteran tax benefits, you are required to have served at least 24 months of continuous active duty. In addition, you must not have a dishonorable discharge.

If you enlisted before September 8, 1980, there is no minimum length of service required to be considered a veteran.

What Is Active Duty?

Active duty means you served as a member of the armed forces:

Marine Corps
Coast Guard
Air Force

The active-duty also applies if you are a commissioned officer of the following:

Environmental Services Administration
NOAA- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Public Health Service

It’s important to note that the term “veteran” refers to a former member of the armed forces that has been discharged. If you are still on active duty, you are not a veteran, but an active member of the armed forces.

Tax Benefits for Veterans

The IRS offers a variety of federal tax benefits to veterans and their families. These include:

Disability pension/compensation
Education/training allowances
Life insurance
Housing grants
The compensated work therapy program

These benefits are non-taxable, meaning you do not have to report them as income on your tax return. If you are a disabled vet, you may be able to claim a federal tax refund based on:

Increase in disability percentage, which may be retroactive
The combat-disabled veteran is granted combat-related special compensation for retirement and disability

Taxable Veteran Benefits

Veterans may also receive 3 other taxable benefits- but there are some exceptions:

Retirement pay
Health Care

Applying for Veterans Benefits

You can visit the joint website of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This has all of the information you need: eBenefits.va.gov.


United States Veterans answered the call and were willing to risk their lives to keep our country free. It only makes sense that we thank them in whatever ways we can. The federal government- and some states- do just that with veteran tax benefits. Contact Achieve Capital Advisors to learn more about veteran benefits.