HONOLULU - The State Department of Taxation today issued Tax Information Release (TIR) No. 2003-2 regarding tax relief available to members of the Armed Forces, reserves, and Hawaii National Guard serving on active duty.
Because of their service to the United States and the State of Hawaii, members of the Armed Forces, reserves, and Hawaii National Guard are granted tax relief. Most importantly, those serving in a combat zone as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom or other military operation, or in support of those combat operations, can set aside such tax matters as filing their Hawaii income tax returns and responding to tax notices until they leave the combat zone and have time to take care of them.
"The last thing those deployed in a combat zone should worry about is their Hawaii taxes," said State Tax Director Kurt Kawafuchi. "We want them to know that they can just focus on doing their jobs and returning home safely."
Among the tax relief measures available are the following:
- Combat pay is excluded from Hawaii taxation.
- Tax deadlines for those serving in combat zones or in support of the Armed Forces in a combat zone are automatically extended for a period of 180 days after the date the service member leaves the combat zone (no penalties or interest will be assessed during this period); and
- Hawaii income tax can be forgiven and will not have to be paid should the service member die as a result of service in a combat zone.
Members of the Armed Forces, reserves, and Hawaii National Guard who are not in a combat zone also may be able to qualify for tax relief. Tax collection can be deferred if their ability to pay is materially impaired because of their military service, and interest limited to a maximum of 6% per year instead of the 8% usually charged on outstanding Hawaii tax liabilities.
Details of these and other forms of tax relief are provided in TIR No. 2003-2. TIR No. 2003-2 is available at any district tax office, by calling the Department's Forms Request Line at 587-7572 (toll-free from the neighbor islands and continental U.S. at 1-800-222-7572), and on the Department's website at www.hawaii.gov/tax.
For additional information and assistance, call the Department's Taxpayer Services Branch at 587-4242 (toll-free from the neighbor islands and continental U.S. at 1-800-222-3229), or e-mail them at email@example.com.