The Servicemember Civil Relief Act—Generally
The Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that, among other things, requires the Iowa Department of Revenue (Department) to allow a deferral of collection of state income tax if a servicemember’s ability to pay is materially affected by their military service. The deferral last for only a period of up to 180 days after termination or release from military service. The SCRA only defers collection of income tax that has fallen due before or during military service. A servicemember must still file their income tax returns, unless their duty to file is suspended by another authority.
Do You Qualify?
1.) You must be a “servicemember”.
- Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and of the Public Health Service are servicemembers.
- Members of the National Guard and reserves are servicemembers only if those members are serving a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.
2.) You must serve during a period of “military service”.
- In the case of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, a servicemember is serving in a period of military service if they are on “active duty”.
- In the case of commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Public Health Service, military service requires “active service”.
- In the case of members of the National Guard, military service includes service under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days.
3.) You must be “materially affected” by your military service.
- The Department will consider all relevant facts and circumstances in determining whether a servicemember’s ability to pay their income tax has been materially affected by their military service.
4.) You must be in “filing compliance”.
- A servicemember can receive a deferral of collection of income taxes only for periods in which they have filed an income tax return.
5.) You must file a written request for deferral.
- A servicemember must make a written request for deferral of collection of income to the Department by completing the Request for Deferral of Iowa Income Tax form. Available at: http://www.iowa.gov/tax/forms/41024.pdf
- A servicemember must submit a copy of their orders with their Request for Deferral of Iowa Income Tax form.