26 CFR § 1.112-1 - Combat zone compensation of members of the Armed Forces.

§ 1.112-1 Combat zone compensation of members of the Armed Forces.

(a) Combat zone compensation exclusion -

(1) Amount excluded. In addition to the exemptions and credits otherwise applicable, section 112 excludes from gross income the following compensation of members of the Armed Forces:

(i) Enlisted personnel. Compensation received for active service as a member below the grade of commissioned officer in the Armed Forces of the United States for any month during any part of which the member served in a combat zone or was hospitalized at any place as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone.

(ii) Commissioned officers. Compensation not exceeding the monthly dollar limit received for active service as a commissioned officer in the Armed Forces of the United States for any month during any part of which the officer served in a combat zone or was hospitalized at any place as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone. The monthly dollar limit is the monthly amount excludable from the officer's income under section 112(b) as amended. Beginning in 1966, the monthly dollar limit for periods of active service after 1965 became $500. As of September 10, 1993, the monthly dollar limit continues to be $500.

(2) Time limits on exclusion during hospitalization. Compensation received for service for any month of hospitalization that begins more than 2 years after the date specified by the President in an Executive Order as the date of the termination of combatant activities in the combat zone cannot be excluded under section 112. Furthermore, compensation received while hospitalized after January 1978 for wounds, disease, or injury incurred in the Vietnam combat zone designated by Executive Order 11216 cannot be excluded under section 112.

(3) Special terms. A commissioned warrant officer is not a commissioned officer under section 112(b) and is entitled to the exclusion allowed to enlisted personnel under section 112(a). Compensation, for the purpose of section 112, does not include pensions and retirement pay. Armed Forces of the United States is defined (and members of the Armed Forces are described) in section 7701(a)(15).

(4) Military compensation only. Only compensation paid by the Armed Forces of the United States to members of the Armed Forces can be excluded under section 112, except for compensation paid by an agency or instrumentality of the United States or by an international organization to a member of the Armed Forces whose military active duty status continues during the member's assignment to the agency or instrumentality or organization on official detail. Compensation paid by other employers (whether private enterprises or governmental entities) to members of the Armed Forces cannot be excluded under section 112 even if the payment is made to supplement the member's military compensation or is labeled by the employer as compensation for active service in the Armed Forces of the United States. Compensation paid to civilian employees of the federal government, including civilian employees of the Armed Forces, cannot be excluded under section 112, except as provided in section 112(d)(2) (which extends the exclusion to compensation of civilian employees of the federal government in missing status due to the Vietnam conflict).

(b) Service in combat zone -

(1) Active service. The exclusion under section 112 applies only if active service is performed in a combat zone. A member of the Armed Forces is in active service if the member is actually serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. Periods during which a member of the Armed Forces is absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, internment by the enemy, or other lawful cause are periods of active service. A member of the Armed Forces in active service in a combat zone who becomes a prisoner of war or missing in action in the combat zone is deemed, for the purpose of section 112, to continue in active service in the combat zone for the period for which the member is treated as a prisoner of war or as missing in action for military pay purposes.

(2) Combat zone status. Except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, service is performed in a combat zone only if it is performed in an area which the President of the United States has designated by Executive Order, for the purpose of section 112, as an area in which Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged in combat, and only if it is performed on or after the date designated by the President by Executive Order as the date of the commencing of combatant activities in that zone and on or before the date designated by the President by Executive Order as the date of the termination of combatant activities in that zone.

(3) Partial month service. If a member of the Armed Forces serves in a combat zone for any part of a month, the member is entitled to the exclusion for that month to the same extent as if the member has served in that zone for the entire month. If a member of the Armed Forces is hospitalized for a part of a month as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in that zone, the member is entitled to the exclusion for the entire month.

(4) Payment time and place. The time and place of payment are irrelevant in considering whether compensation is excludable under section 112; rather, the time and place of the entitlement to compensation determine whether the compensation is excludable under section 112. Thus, compensation can be excluded under section 112 whether or not it is received outside a combat zone, or while the recipient is hospitalized, or in a year different from that in which the service was rendered for which the compensation is paid, provided that the member's entitlement to the compensation fully accrued in a month during which the member served in the combat zone or was hospitalized as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone. For this purpose, entitlement to compensation fully accrues upon the completion of all actions required of the member to receive the compensation. Compensation received by a member of the Armed Forces for services rendered while in active service can be excluded under section 112 even though payment is received subsequent to discharge or release from active service. Compensation credited to a deceased member's account for a period subsequent to the established date of the member's death and received by the member's estate can be excluded from the gross income of the estate under section 112 to the same extent that it would have been excluded from the gross income of the member had the member lived and received the compensation.

(5) Examples of combat zone compensation. The rules of this section are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
On January 5, outside of a combat zone, an enlisted member received basic pay for active duty services performed from the preceding December 1 through December 31. On December 4 (and no other date), the member performed services within a combat zone. The member may exclude from income the entire payment received on January 5, although the member served in the combat zone only one day during December, received the payment outside of the combat zone, and received the payment in a year other than the year in which the combat zone services were performed.
Example 2.
From March through December, an enlisted member became entitled to 25 days of annual leave while serving in a combat zone. The member used all 25 days of leave in the following year. The member may exclude from income the compensation received for those 25 days, even if the member performs no services in the combat zone in the year the compensation is received.
Example 3.
From March through December, a commissioned officer became entitled to 25 days of annual leave while serving in a combat zone. During that period the officer also received basic pay of $1,000 per month from which the officer excluded from income $500 per month (exhausting the monthly dollar limit under section 112 for that period). The officer used all 25 days of leave in the following year. The officer may not exclude from income any compensation received in the following year related to those 25 days of leave, since the officer had already excluded from income the maximum amount of combat zone compensation for the period in which the leave was earned.
Example 4.
In November, while serving in a combat zone, an enlisted member competing for a cash award submitted an employee suggestion. After November, the member neither served in a combat zone nor was hospitalized for wounds incurred in the combat zone. In June of the following year, the member's suggestion was selected as the winner of the competition and the award was paid. The award can be excluded from income as combat zone compensation although granted and received outside of the combat zone, since the member completed the necessary action to win the award (submission of the suggestion) in a month during which the member served in the combat zone.
Example 5.
In July, while serving in a combat zone, an enlisted member voluntarily reenlisted. After July, the member neither served in a combat zone nor was hospitalized for wounds incurred in the combat zone. In February of the following year, the member received a bonus as a result of the July reenlistment. The reenlistment bonus can be excluded from income as combat zone compensation although received outside of the combat zone, since the member completed the necessary action for entitlement to the reenlistment bonus in a month during which the member served in the combat zone.
Example 6.
In July, while serving outside a combat zone, an enlisted member voluntarily reenlisted. In February of the following year, the member, while performing services in a combat zone, received a bonus as a result of the July reenlistment. The reenlistment bonus cannot be excluded from income as combat zone compensation although received while serving in the combat zone, since the member completed the necessary action for entitlement to the reenlistment bonus in a month during which the member had neither served in the combat zone nor was hospitalized for wounds incurred while serving in a combat zone.

(c) Hospitalization -

(1) Presumption of combat zone injury. If an individual is hospitalized for wound, disease, or injury while serving in a combat zone, the wound, disease, or injury will be presumed to have been incurred while serving in a combat zone, unless the contrary clearly appears. In certain cases, however, a wound, disease, or injury may have been incurred while serving in a combat zone even though the individual was not hospitalized for it while so serving. In exceptional cases, a wound, disease, or injury will not have been incurred while serving in a combat zone even though the individual was hospitalized for it while so serving.

(2) Length of hospitalization. An individual is hospitalized only until the date the individual is discharged from the hospital.

(3) Examples of combat zone injury. The rules of this paragraph (c) are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.
An individual is hospitalized for a disease in the combat zone where the individual has been serving for three weeks. The incubation period of the disease is two to four weeks. The disease is incurred while serving in the combat zone.
Example 2.
The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the incubation period of the disease is one year. The disease is not incurred while serving in the combat zone.
Example 3.
A member of the Air Force, stationed outside the combat zone, is shot while participating in aerial combat over the combat zone, but is not hospitalized until returning to the home base. The injury is incurred while serving in a combat zone.
Example 4.
An individual is hospitalized for a disease three weeks after having departed from a combat zone. The incubation period of the disease is two to four weeks. The disease is incurred while serving in a combat zone.

(d) Married members. The exclusion under section 112 applies without regard to the marital status of the recipient of the compensation. If both spouses meet the requirements of the statute, then each spouse is entitled to the benefit of an exclusion. In the case of a husband and wife domiciled in a State recognized for Federal income tax purposes as a community property State, any exclusion from gross income under section 112 operates before apportionment of the gross income of the spouses under community property law. For example, a husband and wife are domiciled in a community property State and the member spouse is entitled, as a commissioned officer, to the benefit of the exclusion under section 112(b) of $500 for each month. The member receives $7,899 as compensation for active service for 3 months in a combat zone. Of that amount, $1,500 is excluded from gross income under section 112(b) and $6,399 is taken into account in determining the gross income of both spouses.

(e) Service in area outside combat zone -

(1) Combat zone treatment. For purposes of section 112, a member of the Armed Forces who performs military service in an area outside the area designated by Executive Order as a combat zone is deemed to serve in that combat zone while the member's service is in direct support of military operations in that zone and qualifies the member for the special pay for duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger authorized under section 310 of title 37 of the United States Code, as amended (37 U.S.C. 310) (hostile fire/imminent danger pay).

(2) Examples of combat zone treatment. The examples in this paragraph (e)(2) are based on the following circumstances: Certain areas, airspace, and adjacent waters are designated as a combat zone for purposes of section 112 as of May 1. Some members of the Armed Forces are stationed in the combat zone; others are stationed in two foreign countries outside the combat zone, named Nearby Country and Destination Country.

Example 1.
B is a member of an Armed Forces ground unit stationed in the combat zone. On May 31, B's unit crosses into Nearby Country. B performs military service in Nearby Country in direct support of the military operations in the combat zone from June 1 through June 8 that qualifies B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. B does not return to the combat zone during June. B is deemed to serve in the combat zone from June 1 through June 8. Accordingly, B is entitled to the exclusion under section 112 for June. Of course, B is also entitled to the exclusion for any month (May, in this example) in which B actually served in the combat zone.
Example 2.
B is a member of an Armed Forces ground unit stationed in the combat zone. On May 31, B's unit crosses into Nearby Country. On June 1, B is wounded while performing military service in Nearby Country in direct support of the military operations in the combat zone that qualifies B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. On June 2, B is transferred for treatment to a hospital in the United States. B is hospitalized from June through October for those wounds. B is deemed to have incurred the wounds while serving in the combat zone on June 1. Accordingly, B is entitled to the exclusion under section 112 for June through October. Of course, B is also entitled to the exclusion for any month (May, in this example) in which B actually served in the combat zone.
Example 3.
B is stationed in Nearby Country for the entire month of June as a member of a ground crew servicing combat aircraft operating in the combat zone. B's service in Nearby Country during June does not qualify B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. Accordingly, B is not deemed to serve in the combat zone during June and is not entitled to the exclusion under section 112 for that month.
Example 4.
B is assigned to an air unit stationed in Nearby Country for the entire month of June. In June, members of air units of the Armed Forces stationed in Nearby Country fly combat and supply missions into and over Destination Country in direct support of military operations in the combat zone. B flies combat missions over Destination Country from Nearby Country from June 1 through June 8. B's service qualifies B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. Accordingly, B is deemed to serve in the combat zone during June and is entitled to the exclusion under section 112. The result would be the same if B were to fly supply missions into Destination Country from Nearby Country in direct support of operations in the combat zone qualifying B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay.
Example 5.
Assigned to an air unit stationed in Nearby Country, B was killed in June when B's plane crashed on returning to the airbase in Nearby Country. B was performing military service in direct support of the military operations in the combat zone at the time of B's death. B's service also qualified B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. B is deemed to have died while serving in the combat zone or to have died as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone for purposes of section 692(a) and section 692(b) (providing relief from certain income taxes for members of the Armed Forces dying in a combat zone or as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone) and section 2201 (providing relief from certain estate taxes for members of the Armed Forces dying in a combat zone or by reason of combat-zone-incurred wounds). The result would be the same if B's mission had been a supply mission instead of a combat mission.
Example 6.
In June, B was killed as a result of an off-duty automobile accident while leaving the airbase in Nearby Country shortly after returning from a mission over Destination Country. At the time of B's death, B was not performing military duty qualifying B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. B is not deemed to have died while serving in the combat zone or to have died as the result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone. Accordingly, B does not qualify for the benefits of section 692(a), section 692(b), or section 2201.
Example 7.
B performs military service in Nearby Country from June 1 through June 8 in direct support of the military operations in the combat zone. Nearby Country is designated as an area in which members of the Armed Forces qualify for hostile fire/imminent danger pay due to imminent danger, even though members in Nearby Country are not subject to hostile fire. B is deemed to serve in the combat zone from June 1 through June 8. Accordingly, B is entitled to the exclusion under section 112 for June.

(f) Nonqualifying presence in combat zone -

(1) Inapplicability of exclusion. The following members of the Armed Forces are not deemed to serve in a combat zone within the meaning of section 112(a)(1) or section 112(b)(1) or to be hospitalized as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone within the meaning of section 112(a)(2) or section 112(b)(2) -

(i) Members present in a combat zone while on leave from a duty station located outside a combat zone;

(ii) Members who pass over or through a combat zone during the course of a trip between two points both of which lie outside a combat zone; or

(iii) Members present in a combat zone solely for their own personal convenience.

(2) Exceptions for temporary duty or special pay. Paragraph (f)(1) of this section does not apply to members of the Armed Forces who -

(i) Are assigned on official temporary duty to a combat zone (including official temporary duty to the airspace of a combat zone); or

(ii) Qualify for hostile fire/imminent danger pay.

(3) Examples of nonqualifying presence and its exceptions. The examples in this paragraph (f)(3) are based on the following circumstances: Certain areas, airspace, and adjacent waters are designated as a combat zone for purposes of section 112 as of May 1. Some members of the Armed Forces are stationed in the combat zone; others are stationed in two foreign countries outside the combat zone, named Nearby Country and Destination Country.

Example 1.
B is a member of the Armed Forces assigned to a unit stationed in Nearby Country. On June 1, B voluntarily visits a city within the combat zone while on leave. B is not deemed to serve in a combat zone since B is present in a combat zone while on leave from a duty station located outside a combat zone.
Example 2.
B is a member of the Armed Forces assigned to a unit stationed in Nearby Country. During June, B takes authorized leave and elects to spend the leave period by visiting a city in the combat zone. While on leave in the combat zone, B is subject to hostile fire qualifying B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. Although B is present in the combat zone while on leave from a duty station outside the combat zone, B qualifies for the exclusion under section 112 because B qualifies for hostile fire/imminent danger pay while in the combat zone.
Example 3.
B is a member of the Armed Forces assigned to a ground unit stationed in the combat zone. During June, B takes authorized leave and elects to spend the leave period in the combat zone. B is not on leave from a duty station located outside a combat zone, nor is B present in a combat zone solely for B's own personal convenience. Accordingly, B's combat zone tax benefits continue while B is on leave in the combat zone.
Example 4.
B is assigned as a navigator to an air unit stationed in Nearby Country. On June 4, during the course of a flight between B's home base in Nearby Country and another base in Destination Country, the aircraft on which B serves as a navigator flies over the combat zone. B is not on official temporary duty to the airspace of the combat zone and does not qualify for hostile fire/imminent danger pay as a result of the flight. Accordingly, B is not deemed to serve in a combat zone since B passes over the combat zone during the course of a trip between two points both of which lie outside the combat zone without either being on official temporary duty to the combat zone or qualifying for hostile fire/imminent danger pay.
Example 5.
B is a member of the Armed Forces assigned to a unit stationed in Nearby Country. B enters the combat zone on a 3-day pass. B is not on official temporary duty and does not qualify for hostile fire/imminent danger pay while present in the combat zone. Accordingly, B is not deemed to serve in a combat zone since B is present in the combat zone solely for B's own personal convenience.
Example 6.
B, stationed in Nearby Country, is a military courier assigned on official temporary duty to deliver military pouches in the combat zone and in Destination Country. On June 1, B arrives in the combat zone from Nearby Country, and on June 2, B departs for Destination Country. Although B passes through the combat zone during the course of a trip between two points outside the combat zone, B is nevertheless deemed to serve in a combat zone while in the combat zone because B is assigned to the combat zone on official temporary duty.
Example 7.
B is a member of an Armed Forces ground unit stationed in Nearby Country. On June 1, B took authorized leave and elected to spend the leave period by visiting a city in the combat zone. On June 2, while on leave in the combat zone, B was wounded by hostile fire qualifying B for hostile fire/imminent danger pay. On June 3, B was transferred for treatment to a hospital in the United States. B is hospitalized from June through October for those wounds. Although B was present in the combat zone while on leave from a duty station outside the combat zone, B is deemed to have incurred the wounds while serving in the combat zone on June 2, because B qualified for hostile fire/imminent danger pay while in the combat zone. Accordingly, B is entitled to the exclusion under section 112 for June through October.
Example 8.
The facts are the same as in Example 7 except that B dies on September 1 as a result of the wounds incurred in the combat zone. B is deemed to have died as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in the combat zone for purposes of section 692(a) and section 692(b) (providing relief from certain income taxes for members of the Armed Forces dying in a combat zone or as a result of wounds, disease, or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone) and section 2201 (providing relief from certain estate taxes for members of the Armed Forces dying in a combat zone or by reason of combat-zone-incurred wounds).
[T.D. 8489, 58 FR 47640, Sept. 10, 1993]