Taxpayers who are serving in a combat zone or in a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces are entitled to automatically extend their tax filing AND tax payment deadlines. When taxpayers are serving in a qualified combat zone, the deadline for filing and payment is increased by 180 days from the last day they are in a qualified combat zone OR the last day of continuous hospitalization related to injury from military service. In addition to this 180 day extension, those qualified service members can also extend their deadline for up to three and a half additional months depending on when they entered the combat zone. This three and a half months represents the time normally alloted for filing taxes (January 1 - April 15). For example, if a service member was in the combat zone on January 1st, they will have an additional 9 1/2 months to file and pay their taxes after they leave the combat zone. If the service member entered the combat zone on February 1st, they would have an additional 8 1/2 months to file and pay and so on.
Information on the U.S. combat zones that are currently recognized can be found on the IRS website. There is no requirement to file a tax extension with the IRS for personnel in combat zones and it is also important to note that this is a rare exception where the IRS grants an extension to file your tax return AND to pay any taxes you may have due. In addition, military personnel can always eFile their tax extension with FileLater.com for FREE as long as they use their .mil email address when they register.