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Tax Burden Easing for Military: According to Air Force Magazine contributing editor Tom Philpott, combat-zone tax exclusions, Earned Income Tax Credit changes, and child tax credits that took effect in 2005 have softened the tax liability for the military. And, for troops in combat areas, there will be no penalty for filing a tax return late. Once they leave the combat zone, they have six months plus the number of days spent in the zone to file a return.