My military career spanned 36 years of Navy Reserve, Active Army, Army Reserve and finishing up with 25 years in the California Army National Guard. My duties covered being a Newscaster in Korea, finance clerk with an Amphibious Army Reserve unit stationed at Cp Pendleton, “parts pusher” with a Maintenance company and finishing up in Food Service overseeing Mess Hall operations for Battalion Headquarters for Southern California.
This is not to brag over any one duty, but rather to show the diversity of my career and that I fully understand the many “out of pocket” expenses incurred by Active Duty and Reserve personnel. These expenses are often deductible, but more frequently totally over-looked by most preparers.
These expenses also roll over into the Border Patrol, Police Officer, Sheriff and Prison Guard careers and provide the same tax deductible opportunities.
I have prepared numerous tax returns for out of state Active Duty personnel for which the big chain preparation franchises just didn’t know how to prepare a Non Resident California return. This incorrect filing status would make the Active Duty family pay at least $300 more in taxes to California that was not due.
City/State Government employee experience.
While in the Reserves I was also employed by the Postal Service for 36 years. As a Government Employee I learned the many items that come up for discussion as to whether they are deductible or not. The ability to deduct expenses as “non reimbursed employee expenses” is directly related to the language of your employment agreement. With that knowledge under my belt I further understand the complexities of preparing Government, State and City employee tax returns.