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Last Updated: 2/14/2019

Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone

You may qualify for a refundable credit if you served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area. Since this credit is refundable, you may claim it even if you do not owe Minnesota tax.

 Credit for Service in a Combat Zone video

For other tax-related issues that affect service members, see Fact Sheet 5 - Military - Residency or Fact Sheet 5a - Military - Subtractions, Credits, and Extensions.

Do I qualify for this credit?

You may qualify if all of the following are true:

  • You were a Minnesota resident.
  • You served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area.
  • You received combat pay, which is excluded from federal gross income under Internal Revenue Code, section 112.

The credit is based on the number of months you served. Partial months count as full months.

For more information about combat zones and qualifying hazardous duty areas:

How do I claim the credit?

Complete Form M99, Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone, for the year you served. You file Form M99 separately from your income tax return. To receive this credit, you must:

  • File Form M99 within 3½ years from the original due date of your income tax return
  • Include documentation, as described below, with your form.

To complete Form M99 for a previous year, see Prior Year Forms.

How long do I have to claim the credit?

You have 3½ years from the original due date of your tax return to claim the credit. The credit for months served in a combat zone from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 will expire October 15, 2019.

Individual circumstances may exist that extend the time allowed to file for these credits. If you spent additional days in a combat zone after the due date, you can add the number of additional days plus 180 days to the initial 3½ years.

Example: If you served in a combat zone in 2014, you had to file your 2014 Form M99 by October 15, 2018. However, starting on June 1, 2015, you spent 60 days in a combat zone. You would have an additional 240 days to claim the credit (60 days plus 180 days). Therefore, you would have until June 10, 2019 (240 days after October 15, 2018) to file 2014 Form M99.

What documentation do I need to apply for this credit?

You need the following documentation:

  • National Guard, Reservists, and retired or discharged active-duty members: For each period of qualifying service, attach a copy of your Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
  • Active-duty members: For each month in qualifying status, attach a copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement.

What if I do not have copies of the required documentation?

You may order copies of the necessary records, as outlined below. You should request the required documentation as soon as possible to avoid delays when filing for the credit.

If you cannot get your Leave and Earnings Statements through MyPay, request assistance by calling the appropriate phone number below:

Army (active duty):​ 1-888-332-7411
Army (Reserve):​ 1-877-462-7782​
Army (National Guard):​ 1-877-276-4729
Navy (active duty/Reserve):​ 1-888-332-7411
Air Force (active duty/Reserve/National Guard):   ​ 1-888-332-7411​
Marine Corps (active duty/Reserve):​ 1-888-332-7411​