Military Feed

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This specific commemoration marked the armistice between World War I's Allied forces and Germany ending the fighting on the Western Front at precisely 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. The poppy was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1922. The date has held firm, withstanding the penchant here in the United States to shift holidays to Mondays to create three-day weekends. But its focus was expanded in 1954. That year Congress, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Armistice Day became Veterans... Read more →

Paying tribute to our troops is not cheap. Recent on-field displays of patriotism at sporting events cost taxpayers almost $7 million dollars, according to a report released last week by two U.S. senators. But the U.S. Treasury will get some of that money back. In the wake of the report "Tackling Paid Patriotism," initiated by Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and released Nov. 4, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has promised that the National Football League would pay back costs for activities beyond recruitment or advertising. More leagues, money involved: McCain and Flake, Arizona's Republican senators, started looking into the... Read more →

Looking for something to do this weekend? The Internal Revenue Service has some suggestions. If you pay estimated taxes or are a civilian or military taxpayer living outside the United States, you should spend the coming Saturday and Sunday working on your taxes since they're due Monday, June 15. Yeah, I know. It's not really the start of summer celebration you were hoping for. But it's one that must be heeded or you'll find yourself owing Uncle Sam more. Here's the calendar scoop. Estimated taxes If you get income that's not subject to payroll withholding, you need to make these... Read more →

This post was reviewed and updated on Memorial Day, May 28, 2018. American Soldiers, American Wars montage by Beverly via Flickr CC. Military casualties are the high price of freedom. Memorial Day commemorates those who paid this ultimate price. Over the years more than 42 million American men and women have served their country in armed conflicts. Almost 1.2 million have died doing so. The Memorial Day Foundation, using Department of Defense statistics, has tallied the terrible cost of war since our country's first Revolutionary War battle to the latest troops lost in Operation New Dawn in Iraq. dThere are... Read more →

You know those heart-tugging salutes to the troops you've seen at various sporting events over the years? The teams didn't feature those moments because of unbridled patriotism and a simple desire to recognize and thank military personnel for their sacrifices. The Department of Defense paid for those touching moments. NFL military salutes have prompted official inquiries, but the promotions also have occurred at Major League Baseball Games. These members of the Georgia National Guard participated in a tribute to troops in July 2012 at an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. (Photo courtesy Georgia National Guard via Flickr Creative Commons)... Read more →

Getting a job sometimes is the hardest job of all. And military veterans face particular challenges as they transition from the Armed Forces to civilian life. Image courtesy Monster's November 2014 Veterans Talent Index A recent survey by Monster Worldwide, parent company of employment website and armed forces focused, found that the biggest obstacle veterans face is communicating how their military skills translate to non-base positions. It is often difficult, said two-thirds of the poll respondents, for them to explain to prospective employers how their military skills can be used by civilian companies. Veterans unemployment falling: But things... Read more →

Are you frantically trying to finish your 1040 by the Oct. 15 extended filing deadline? Yes, it is just a week away, so you need to get to work. But don't be in such a hurry that you miss out on some tax breaks. There are lots of ways to reduce your tax bill, as this week's Weekly Tax Tip highlights. Some of the 10 often overlooked tax breaks are for itemizers only. Others can be claimed by any filer. Philanthropic filers should double-check their contribution records. You don't want to miss out on Schedule A deductions for noncash charitable... Read more →

The raw numbers are bad enough. Approximately 83,000 Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors had unpaid federal tax debt totaling more than $730 million as of June 30, 2012, according to a just-released General Accountability Office report. Southwest view of the Pentagon with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in background. Department of Defense photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia. IRS data shows that the tax debt of all individuals and businesses as of Sept. 30, 2013, was about $374 billion. But the news gets worse. In "Security Clearances: Tax Debts Owed by DOD... Read more →

July 1 not only marks the middle of the year. It's the start of a new fiscal year for most state governments and that means new laws typically take effect. Here are some of the new tax statutes now on state books. Indiana has changed how it calculates tax on gasoline. Instead of the previous fixed 19-cent-per-gallon sales tax, the tax rate will be modified month-to-month. Specifically, the Hoosier State's gas usage tax rate now will be 7 percent of the average price of gas the previous month. That means, says the Indiana Department of Revenue, that the state's July... Read more →

Happy Flag Day! The 14th of June this year wraps up National Flag Week, which per presidential proclamation began on June 8. Flag Day was born on June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress adopted the stars and stripes design for the U.S. flag. The first national observance of Flag Day, however, didn't occur until June 14, 1877, the centennial of the adoption of our Star-Spangled Banner. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 issued proclamations asking for June 14 to be observed as National Flag Day. W. Edwardes Baxter sent First Lady Lou Henry Hoover... Read more →

Happy National Doughnut Day! I know, my first reaction upon learning of today's seemingly light-hearted gustatory event was dismay that it unfortunately fell this year on the very solemn commemoration of D-Day, the landing 70 years ago of more than 160,000 Allied troops to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. This largest seaborne invasion in history on June 6, 1944, was the beginning of the invasion of German-occupied western Europe. It led to the freeing of France from Nazi occupation and was a key to the Allied victory in World War II. But then I learned that... Read more →

Today, despite the festive outings across the United States, is the most somber of national holidays. Photo credit: The U.S. Army via photopin cc What we now call Memorial Day began with a ceremony on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, New York, where residents of that community honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Exactly two years later, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established the day as a special time for the nation to decorate the graves of Civil War dead with flowers. The annual rite spread and... Read more →

Folks receiving federal help buying groceries are making do with a little less. The increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps (although most programs are via debit cards), ended on Nov. 1. Calculations by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) show that for families of three, the cut will be $29 a month, or a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014. CBPP says the reduction means that SNAP benefits now will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014. In dinner table... Read more →

June 15 is a big tax day. It's normally the due date for the year's second estimated tax payment. It's also the filing deadline for taxpayers abroad, be they private citizens or members of the U.S. military. But when June 15 falls on a weekend, like today, then the deadline is pushed to the next business day. That means these tax tasks must be taken care of no later than Monday, June 17. I blogged last week about estimated taxes, so today's post focuses on the tax responsibilities of taxpayers living outside U.S. borders. Two more months to file: The... Read more →

Folks spend the long Memorial Day weekend different ways. Many travel, visiting family or friends or just seeing new sites. Others take advantage of the ubiquitous sales that are pegged to every holiday. Some shoppers even get a few sales tax savings this weekend and beyond. And millions of us have, will or will again fire up the grill. But, as the poster below notes, it's Memorial Day, not National BBQ Day. Memorial Day is the official day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It began as Decoration Day to... Read more →

World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. The actual fighting, however, had stopped seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That cessation of hostilities on Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of what was then dubbed "the war to end all wars." Unfortunately, the hope that there would be no more wars was not borne out and fighting continues at this moment in too many places across the... Read more →

Own a business? Hired a vet? Be sure you check out the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. And be sure to do so by Tuesday, June 19. That's right, you've only got a few days left to take tax advantage of your good hiring practices. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, or WOTC, can be as much as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 per veteran for tax-exempt organizations. Employers that hired unemployed veterans during late 2011 and early 2012 were given extra time to request the required certification to claim the credit. But that expanded time frame... Read more →

Today's the tax filing deadline for most servicemen and women stationed abroad, but in addition to paying attention to what they must report to the Internal Revenue Service, they need to be on the lookout for a new tax scam. The scam's methodology isn't new. It's yet another email-based phishing trick. But, says the IRS, this latest scam is specific. The fake message is going to Department of Defense military members, retirees and civilian employees. The email appears to come from Defense Finance and Accounting Services, according to the IRS. It even displays a .mil email address. The email states... Read more →

I know all the careful readers of the ol' blog have already taken note of the left column note that June 15 is a big tax filing day. In addition to being an estimated tax filing deadline, June 15 also is the deadline for U.S. citizens or resident aliens living and working outside the country, as well as military personnel stationed abroad, to file Form 1040. Passport stamps by hjl via Flickr Creative Commons Taxpayers who are out of the country can file online. Those who qualify -- individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $58,000 or less -- might be... Read more →

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was established just after the Civil War as a way to remember the soldiers who died in that tragic campaign. Now on the fourth Monday of every May we recognize the sacrifices of all U.S. servicemen and women in all battles. Photo by DVIDSHUB via Flickr Creative Commons In addition to commemorating those who made the ultimate sacrifice, also keep in your thoughts the many service men and women who are serving today in combat zones. Taxes and the troops: Military personal do get some special tax considerations.'s list of the top... Read more →