Under G.L. c. 62C, § 81, military and support personnel who served or are serving in a "combat zone" are allowed an extension of time to file Massachusetts income tax returns and pay Massachusetts income taxes. The term "combat zone" is defined in the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to mean "any area which the President of the United States by Executive Order designates, for purposes of this section." IRC § 112. The extension period is for the time served in the combat zone plus at least six months (180 days). The Massachusetts extension provisions parallel the federal provisions of section 7508 of the Code.
Combat zones are designated by an Executive Order from the President as areas in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. There are currently three such combat zones (including the airspace above each):
- Arabian Peninsula areas, beginning January 17, 1991 - the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, the part of the Arabian Sea north of 10° North latitude and west of 68° East longitude, the Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- Kosovo area, beginning March 24, 1999 - Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Albania, the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea north of the 39 th Parallel.
- Afghanistan, beginning September 19, 2001.
This Technical Information Release (TIR) serves as a reminder that military and support personnel who served or are serving in any of the designated combat zones are allowed an extension of time to file Massachusetts income tax returns and pay Massachusetts income taxes. See TIR 03-8, Massachusetts Income Tax Filing Extensions for Military Personnel in the Persian Gulf Area; TIR 02-4, Military Personnel Serving in Afghanistan; and TIR 99-6, Military Personnel Serving in Kosovo.
Note that since 2004 is a leap year, there is an extra day in the filing season for the 2003 tax year. Therefore, keep in mind that a taxpayer's deadline for filing his or her tax return is one day later for the 2003 tax year than it would have been for the 2002 tax year (See Examples for the 2002 tax year in TIR 03-8).
Commissioner of Revenue
March 3, 2004