Allowances are cash benefits that compensate the service member, at least in part, for the expenses of housing, food, clothing, and special situations during periods of active-duty service. Allowances are not paid for weekend drills of Reserve and National Guard components.
Allowances are not subject to FICA tax and usually are not subject to income taxes.
Often, for accounting purposes, a service branch changes a subcategory of allowance retroactively (e.g., from one type of subsistence allowance to another). The change is explained on the pay slip by showing, as an entitlement, the full amount due for the earlier month under the correct subcategory (e.g., leave rations). The full amount previously paid as the entitlement for the earlier month under the incorrect subcategory is shown as a deduction (e.g., separate rations). The amounts may be identical or different. (See SI 00830.540D.7. for the policy governing retroactive adjustments.)