Our nation mourned as one great family after the tragedy of the September 11th events. Congress came back and examined the support that we give our brave Servicemembers, and worked to increase and give additional benefits following the 9-11 tragedy to many different areas of military Servicemember support spending. One of these was the traditional Montgomery GI bill. Congress made adjustments to help increase the ability of Military Service Members who wish to return to school or to further their education. There are many different tax benefit and reimbursement programs that are also available to Servicemembers who use the Montgomery GI bill.
The Montgomery GI Bill as we know it was first enacted in August of 1985 and provides thirty-six months of financial support to selected veterans and active duty enlistees. These are benefits that are available to Veterans, Retirees, and even Reserve Servicemembers. There is a version of the MGIB that is available for Reservists. The MGIB is available to Servicemembers of any of the five services. There are also some other Education benefits available to Servicemembers.
REAP Reserve Benefits- This is a program that was first implemented for the Reserves and National Guard, and it is called the Reserve Educational Assistance Program. It was designed for National Guard, and Selected Reserve members who were called to active duty after the September 11,2001 Twin Towers Tragedy. This is a program reserved for use by Reservists; only those Servicemembers serving actively in the National Guard or Selected Reserve are eligible for benefits under this education program. Tax Incentives- Many people do not know that the benefits that are available under the REAP and MGIB are not counted as income for any tax purposes. They are not counted as income and so expenses that are covered by either program cannot be deducted from taxes, as they are not income counted. Lifetime Learning Credit- If you are attending college then you can claim up to 20 percent of your tuition and expenses, up to a maximum of 2,000 dollars per year for different college courses. The courses that you take for job related skills qualify, and this can be a good tax benefit for those people attending college or university. It is renewable each year up to $2,000 dollars and is for all qualifying education courses, not just those that lead to a degree.
Hope Tax Credit- This is a tax credit for students that gives up to $1,650 dollars in tax deduction credits, per year, toward qualified fees and tuition. This credit is available only during the first 24 months of pursuing an education or seeking a college degree.