Cha-Ching! Putting money back in your pockets
By Staff Sgt. Armando Vasquez, 108th Public Affairs Office
/ Published February 27, 2010
Feb. 27, 2010 -- Most New Jersey Guardsmen are well aware of the many benefits they are entitled as military service members. They are aware of the discounted tickets to amusement parks; 100 percent tuition assistance; commissary privileges; and low cost life insurance, to name a few.
But not many N.J. Guardsmen know that as a member of the National Guard or Air National Guard, you can be reimbursed for any N.J. tolls incurred when traveling to perform your military duties.
"Only tolls related to your National Guard duty can be claimed for reimbursement," stated Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Ridgway, coordinator for the 108th Wing Family Program at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
In order to claim reimbursement, a Guardsmen needs to fill out AR 52-2A Form, National Guard - Travel Expense Invoice Form, and mail the original signed document to the N.J. Department of Military & Veterans Affairs along with the original toll receipts or EZ Pass statement highlighting the ANG duty tolls.
Furthermore, a State of N.J. W-9 questionnaire must be filled out and mailed along with your reimbursement request.
If the process for reimbursement seems burdensome, Guardsmen can chose to take a deduction when filing their federal tax returns if they qualify.
As a member of the National Guard or military reserve, you may be entitled to a deduction for travel expenses to drills or meetings. To qualify, you must travel more than 100 miles and be away from home overnight.
If you qualify, you can deduct the cost of lodging and half the cost of your meals, plus mileage at the yearly IRS mileage rate, and any parking or toll fees incurred while driving your own car. You get this deduction regardless of whether you itemize.
For further information please review IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces' Guide (2009) or consult with your local tax consultant.
Regardless of which option a Guardsmen chooses; it is easy money!