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The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown on your Form W-2, Box 12, with Code Q.

To enter nontaxable combat pay for Form W-2, Box 12:

  1. From within your TaxACT return (Online or Desktop) click the Federal Q&A tab
  2. Click Wages and Salaries to expand the category, then click Wage income reported on Form W-2
  3. Click Add to enter a new form or Review to review a form already created
    • If you use Step-By-Step Guidance, continue to the screen for Box 12. Choose Q-Nontaxable combat pay for the Code and enter the total of your combat pay in the Amount field.
    • If you use Quick Entry, enter code Q and the amount for Box 12.


Per IRS Publication 3 Armed Forces' Tax Guide, page 19:

Earned Income Credit

For purposes of the earned income credit, earned income includes the following:

  • Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay.
  • Net earnings from self-employment.
  • Gross income received as a statutory employee.
  • Nontaxable combat pay if you elect to include it in earned income.

For purposes of the earned income credit, earned income does not include:

  • Basic pay or special, bonus, or other incentive pay that is subject to the combat zone exclusion,
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH),
  • Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS),
  • Any other nontaxable employee compensation,
  • Interest and dividends,
  • Social security and railroad retirement payments,
  • Certain workfare payments,
  • Pensions or annuities,
  • Veterans’ benefits (including VA rehabilitation payments),
  • Workers’ compensation,
  • Unemployment compensation, or
  • Alimony and child support.

You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income credit. Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EIC. Figure the credit with and without your nontaxable combat pay before making the election. If you make the election, you must include in earned income all nontaxable combat pay you received.

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