Colorado Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Division of Driver Services
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation
Miscellaneous Benefits
Colorado Military Resource Locator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
Resources

Summary of Colorado Military and Veterans Benefits: The State of Colorado offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Retired Military Pay and Property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.

Colorado Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

What are my Colorado Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

Colorado Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: The rules for the taxability of military retirement benefits are the same as the rules for any retirement pension and annuity income. Persons who were 55 to 64 years of age as of December 31 may exclude up to $20,000 of their military retirement benefits received during the calendar year. Persons who were 65 years of age or older as of December 31, may exclude up to $24,000 of their military retirement benefits received during the calendar year.

Learn more about Colorado Retired Military Pay Income Taxes

Colorado State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975;

  • You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975;

  • You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:

    • Resulted directly from armed conflict,

    • Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service,

    • Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or

    • Was caused by an instrumentality of war.

  • You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA).

Learn more about Colorado State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay

 Colorado State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Learn more about Oklahoma State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Colorado State Tax Benefits: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

Learn more about Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Colorado State Tax Benefits

Colorado Property Tax Deferral for Seniors and Active Military Personnel: The Property Tax Deferral Program helps military personnel and seniors, many of whom live on a fixed income, continue to afford living in their home by deferring the payment of their property taxes.

The State Treasurer's office may make tax payments directly to the county on behalf of the participant for the tax amount due. The loan is logged as a lien against the participant's property that does not have to be remitted until the participant no longer qualifies to defer their property taxes.
Who is eligible for the Colorado Property Tax Deferral for Seniors and Active Military Personnel? The following criteria must be met:

  • Applicant must be a senior who is 65 years or older or a person called into military service pursuant to CRS 39-3.5-101 (1.8), on January 1 of the year in which the person files a claim.

  • All prior years' property taxes must be paid.

  • Applicant must own and occupy the property as their primary residence. The property cannot be income-producing.

  • The total value of liens against the property (mortgages, deferrals, and/or deeds of trust) cannot exceed 100% of the assessed market value.

  • Mortgage lender agrees that the state's interest in the property would take priority over all other interests.

  • If a qualified applicant has a reverse mortgage, the property is only eligible for future deferrals if a subordination agreement from the mortgage lender is submitted with the application.

  • The deferral amount must be paid upon sale or transfer of the property. The deferral amount can also be paid any time prior to sale or transfer without affecting future eligibility.

Those who qualify must file an application with their respective county treasurer between January and April 1st of each year. Once approved, the treasurer will issue a certificate of deferral to the property owner, keeping one copy on record and sending one copy to the State Treasurer's office. By April 30, the Treasurer's office will pay the deferred amount to the County Treasurer where the property is located.
Colorado Senior / Civilian Tax Lien Application for Deferral of Property Taxes
Colorado Activated Guard or Reserve Tax Lien/ Application for Deferral of Property Taxes
Colorado County Government Directory

*Note: if property taxes are included in your mortgage payment, a copy of the deferral certificate to the mortgage lender for a refund of the property tax held in escrow must be presented.

Learn more about Colorado Property Tax Deferral for Seniors and Active Military Personnel

Colorado Senior and Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption: A property tax exemption is available to senior citizens, Surviving Spouses of senior citizens, and disabled Veterans. For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted. The state pays the exempted portion of the property tax.

The Senior Property Tax Exemption is administered by the Department of Local Affairs; but the Treasurer's office is responsible for the distribution of state funds to counties representing the amount issued in exemptions.
Who is eligible for the Colorado Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption?

  • Applicant must be a disabled Veteran who has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as permanently disabled. (VA unemployability awards do not meet the requirement for determining an applicant's eligibility.)

  • Applicant must have owned and occupied the property as their primary residence on January 1st of the year in which they are applying for the exemption. (If the Veteran's Spouse is an owner and the Veteran is not, the Veteran can still qualify if the couple was married on or before January 1 and both have occupied the property as their primary residence since January 1.)

  • Fifty percent of the first $200,000 in actual property value is exempt from property taxation

Disabled Veterans who qualify for the property tax exemption must submit an application to their county assessor between January 1st and July 1st of the year you qualify.
Colorado County Government Directory
Colorado Property Tax Exemption Application for Qualifying Disabled Veterans
Colorado Property Tax Exemption for the Surviving Spouse of a Previously Qualified Disabled Veteran

Learn more about the Colorado Senior and Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Colorado Military Spouse Residency Relief Act: For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2009, wages and tips of a qualifying nonresident Spouse are not taxable in Colorado and should not be included on Form 104PN .
Who is eligible for Colorado Military Spouse Residency Relief Act? A qualifying Spouse must:

  • Have moved to Colorado from another state;

  • File an income tax return and report Colorado wages in the state of residency, if applicable;

  • Be in Colorado solely to accompany their active duty Service member Spouse who is stationed in Colorado in accordance with military orders; AND

  • Have the same state of residency as the home of record of the Service member.

Learn more about the Colorado Military Spouse Residency Relief Act

Colorado Tax Deduction for Reacquiring Colorado Residency: An active duty Service member whose home of record is Colorado and whose state of legal residency is any state other than Colorado may reacquire legal residence in Colorado if at least one of the following five criteria are met. "Home of record" is the place one was living when they entered or re-enlisted in the military. An individual must:

  • Register to vote in Colorado,

  • Purchase residential property or an unimproved residential lot in Colorado,

  • Title and register a motor vehicle in the state,

  • Notify the state of the individual’s previous legal residence and the intent to make Colorado the individual’s state of legal residence, or

  • Prepare a new last will and testament that indicates Colorado as the individual’s state of legal residence.

For the tax year that begins on January 1, 2016, and for subsequent tax years, an active duty Service member who has reacquired residency in Colorado may:

  • Claim a subtraction on the Colorado individual income tax return of an amount equal to any compensation received for active duty service in the Armed Forces, to the extent that the compensation is included in federal taxable income,

  • Not file an individual income tax return with the State of Colorado if the individual’s only source of income is compensation that is subtracted from federal taxable income, and

  • Elect not to deduct or withhold taxes from the individual’s wages if the individual’s withholding certificate indicates that the compensation is eligible to be subtracted from the Colorado income tax return.

Learn more about Colorado Tax Deduction for Reacquiring Colorado Residency

Colorado Resident Military Serving Outside of the U.S. for 305 Days or More File as a Non-Resident for Tax Purposes: A Service member who is a full-year Colorado resident who spends at least 305 days of the tax year outside of the 50-state boundary of the United States while stationed outside of the United States for active military duty may file as a nonresident on the Colorado income tax return. The Service member’s Spouse may also file as a nonresident if the Spouse accompanies the Service member outside of the country for at least 305 days of the tax year while they are stationed there on active military duty.

Learn more about Colorado Resident Military Serving Outside of the U.S. for 305 Days or More File as a Non-Resident for Tax Purposes

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What are my Colorado Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

Colorado National Guard (CONG) Tuition Assistance: Any member of the Colorado National Guard whose sole residency is Colorado is eligible for State Tuition Assistance, up to 100% tuition paid (not to exceed $4250 or $475/credit hour) at any approved Colorado state-funded school depending on funding available. State funding can be used in conjunction with Federal Tuition Assistance.
Who is eligible for Colorado National Guard (CONG) Tuition Assistance? The following criteria must be met:

  •  As of July 1, 2000, any new member of the Colorado National Guard eligible for State Tuition Assistance must have a minimum of 6 months of service in the Colorado National Guard. Interstate Transfer (ISTs) and In-Service Recruits (ISRs) are waived from this requirement.

  • To get TA the member must be in drilling status with the Colorado National Guard. If the member leaves drilling status, during the semester/quarter for which they are receiving TA, the member must reimburse the Department for the whole amount of TA received for that semester.

  • Must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average every semester

All Army guard members are to apply for federal tuition assistance in addition to the state tuition assistance.

There is no longer a repayment of service for state tuition assistance (2 years of service for every 1 year of tuition). However, National Guard Service members must satisfactorily meet all performance requirements and receive recommendation by their Unit Commander (verified via 169C Form) and must have an ETS date on or after the end date of the semester.

For more information including eligibility guidelines, please visit the following pages:

Colorado National Guard (CONG) Tuition Assistance Updated Brochure 3-24-17
Colorado National Guard (CONG) Tuition Assistance Frequently Asked Question's Updated 3-28-17

Learn more about the Colorado National Guard (CONG) Tuition Assistance