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Discharged With Severance Pay – Tip #7 – Get Your Money Back From IRS

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IRS building on Constitution Avenue in Washing...

IRS building on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


How to Recoup Taxes Paid on Disability Severance pay From the Armed Forces


Many medically discharged vets, including some good friends of mine, don’t know they are entitled to get the taxes back if they get a VA rating. The one’s who do know they are entitled (like I did) don’t know how to go about doing it. If I can spare anyone what I went through trying to figure it out, its worth it.


Dorothy IRS publications 17 (Your Federal Income Tax) & 525 (Taxable & Non-taxable Income, page 17)


Who is eligible? According to page one of an information paper published online by the Presidio of Monterey Staff Judge Advocate, veterans who have: a designation of 10 a, b, or c on DA Form 199 (findings from the Physical Evaluation Board).



The rest of this page will deal with the last situation – a retroactive disability determination from the VA. (Information Paper). This last one means the VA has awarded a disability rating for the same condition for which someone is discharged. This paper has limitations, and it is difficult to read. It basically states that the veteran needs to:


Get a VA disability rating for the same condition for which they received a discharge. Request a corrected W-2 from DFAS indicating the non-taxable income. Use that corrected W-2 to file a 1040X for said year. The IRS will return the overpayment of taxes. But, DFAS will not issue a corrected W-2 indicating this non-taxable income unless the request is made within the same year as the original W-2 was issued. Most veterans know it is almost impossible to get a VA disability rating in less than a year.


How to get back your taxes paid on lump-sum disability severance pay: Once you have a retrograde VA disability rating:


Fill out a 1040X subtracting the lump-sum disability payment from your taxable income.


Make reference to Publication 525, Taxable & Non-Taxable Income.


Attach the following documentation:


a. The enclosed explanation letter, addressed to your IRS Regional Service Center.


b. A copy of your VA disability award documentation.


c. A copy of your separation orders.


d. A copy of your DD-214 (does not have to be notarized)


e. A copy of your original W-2 from the year the taxes were paid.


f. A copy of your federal tax return from the year the taxes were paid.




Internal Revenue Service. (2007). Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals. Publication 17. (p.50).


Internal Revenue Service. (2007). Taxable and Non-Taxable Income. Publication 525. (p. 17).


Allan B. Colombo Copyright©2008 Founded 1997





About VetBlogger

Veteran of the Persian Gulf war, husband 17 years, and father to 3 amazing children.

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