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U.S. Troops in Turkey No Longer Receive Tax Exclusion

American Forces Press Service

STUTTGART-VAIHINGEN, Germany, Nov. 10, 2005 – Beginning Dec. 31, U.S. military members in Turkey will no longer be exempt from paying federal taxes.

U.S. European Command requested and the Pentagon approved terminating Turkey's certification as an area in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. military officials in Europe said. This ends the benefit known as combat-zone tax exclusion.

American forces serving in Turkey began receiving this benefit in January 2003 in anticipation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Deborah McKoy-Phillips, EUCOM entitlements program analyst.

EUCOM routinely monitors identified areas in its theater to ensure the combat-zone requirements still apply, McKoy-Phillips said. As part of a recent review, evaluators determined that Turkey no longer met the requirements.

The combat-zone tax exclusion benefit, when in effect, is provided in one-month blocks. A servicemember serving one day in an area identified on the combat-zone tax exclusion list allows that person to be exempt from federal taxes for that entire month. Normally it is reimbursed upon filing individual taxes with the IRS at the end of the year.

This decision does not affect the imminent danger pay benefit, which gives troops serving in Turkey $225 more a month.

(From a U.S. European Command news release.)

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