Within 24 hours after the IRS has received your tax return or four weeks after your paper return was mailed, you can check the status of your refund. You will need your social security number or ITIN, filing status, and the exact amount of your refund with you.
Access to useful information, booklets and other tools for individuals from the Internal Revenue Service.
Access a list of all IRS current publications and forms.
What paperwork do I need to file my taxes?
Below is a list of documents to bring with you to your tax interview.
PERSONAL INFORMATION FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER:
Date of Birth
Social Security Card /ITIN/ATIN
Last Year’s Tax Return
Valid Driver’s License
INCOME AND TAX INFORMATION:
Interest (1099-INT or substitute)
Dividend Slips (1099-DIV or substitute)
Stock Sales (1099-B or Broker Statement)
Self-Employment Income and Expenses
Sale of a Personal Residence
Rental Income and Expenses
Sale of any Business Assets
Gambling or Lottery Winnings (W-2G for some winnings)
State Income Tax Refund (1099-G)
Pension Income (1099-R)
Estimated Taxes Paid
Social Security or Railroad Retirement (SSA-1099 or RRB-1099)
IRA or 401(k) Distribution (1099-R)
Unemployment Compensation (1099-G)
Miscellaneous Income (1099-MISC)
Real Estate or Personal Property Taxes
Charitable Contributions (cash and non-cash)
Employee Business Expenses
Traditional IRA Contributions
Higher Education Expenses
Student Loan Interest
Child Care Provider/Address and Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)
Retirement Savings Contributions Credit
Can I receive a tax refund if I am currently making payments under an installment agreement or payment plan for another federal tax period?
No, one of the conditions of your installment agreement is that any refund due to you, the IRS will automatically apply against taxes you owe. Because your refund isn't applied toward your regular monthly payment, continue making your installment agreement payments as scheduled.
If your refund exceeds your total balance due on all outstanding liabilities including accruals, and you don't owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state tax, a student loan, or child support, you'll receive a refund of the amount over and above what you owe. For more information on these non-IRS refund offsets, you can call the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) at 800-304-3107 (toll-free).
To qualify for head of household filing status, do I have to claim my child as a dependent?
Generally, to qualify for head of household, you must have a qualifying child or dependent. However, a custodial parent may be able to claim head of household filing status with a qualifying child even if he or she released a claim to exemption for the child.
What documents should I receive from my employer?
The forms to prove employment may vary depending on individual situations. For most, an employer will provide a W-2 form. The self-employed (i.e. independent contractors, product sales representatives such as Mary Kay, etc.) should receive a 1099-MISC from the company.
What documents do I need if I am self-employed?
You will need to file a Schedule C using IRS Form 1040. Depending on your type of business and where you conduct business, there may be other forms you will need. You may also need to make quarterly estimated payments by filing Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals.
What documents do I need if I am unemployed?
If you received unemployment benefits from your state over the past year, you must claim that as income and, therefore, pay taxes on those benefits. The unemployment agency should provide you with a 1099-G form, which explains the amount of benefits you drew during the past year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) receives a copy as well and will tax you at the appropriate rate in your tax bracket. Not everyone owes. If you worked a portion of the past year, chances are you paid payroll taxes and may earn a refund if those deductions were overpaid.
What documents do I need if I file a mortgage?
Your mortgage company should send you Form 1098 which reports the mortgage interest you paid.
What documents do I need if I am divorced?
Taking necessary steps before tax time will make things easier once you file your taxes for the first time after a divorce. Change your W-4 through your employer so taxes will be withheld at the correct rates. Also, if you (or a family member) changed your name, file Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration to ensure there aren’t any complications with the IRS.
Is there an age limit on claiming my child as a dependent?
To claim your child as your dependent, your child must meet either the qualifying child test or the qualifying relative test:
To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year.
There's no age limit if your child is "permanently and totally disabled" or meets the qualifying relative test.
In addition to meeting the qualifying child or qualifying relative test, your child must also meet all of the other tests for claiming a dependent:
1. Dependent taxpayer test
2. Citizen or resident test, and
3. Joint return test
Do I have to pay taxes on money that was gifted to me?
No. The federal tax laws do not consider gifted money to be earned income therefore it is not taxable to you. No state has a tax law on gifted money either.
Do I need to report work-study income if I am a full time student?
Yes, any money which you received as a result of work is taxable income and must be reported on your tax return. Attach your W-2 showing your earnings and your taxes withheld to your tax return.
Why should I file my taxes electronically?
The main reason for filing taxes electronically (e-filing) is to get your refund faster. Twenty-four hours after sending your tax return, the IRS will send you a confirmation of receipt or a rejection notice. Generally, e-filing is safer and faster than filing on paper.
How can I check the status of my refund?
The 'Where’s My Refund' tool on the IRS website provides the most up-to-date information regarding the status of your refund. This tool is updated every 24 hours.
When is the earliest that I can file my taxes?
When you get your W-2, you can have your taxes prepared right away, but the IRS will not accept them before a predefined date.
Can I claim charitable donations without a receipt?
Yes, you can as long as you keep good records in case you are ever audited by the IRS. Be sure to record the name of the organization, the date and location, as well as a detailed description of what you donated. Keep notes on the amount you claimed as a deduction and how you figured the fair market value on the items you donated. In the case of a monetary donation, as long as it’s less than $250, a canceled check or even a payroll deduction can suffice for proof of the donation.
Can I deduct expenses paid for repairing my home?
Typically, general home repairs cannot be deducted from your taxes. Home repairs are meant to keep your home in good condition, but do not increase the value of your home. However, if you live in a “federally declared disaster area” and your home is affected, then you can claim the cost to repair the damages. If you use part of your home as a principal place of business, some repairs can be deducted, but you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A.
Can my spouse and I file our tax return together if we are legally separated and not divorced?
If your divorce is not final, you may choose to file married filing jointly. Just note, that you and your spouse are responsible for the tax bill and any future audits.
What tax consequences will I face if I lost my home in a foreclosure?
For federal taxes, a foreclosure is viewed as the sale of property. Two separate matters will impact your tax liability: any gain from the sale of your property and credited income you receive from any debt forgiveness. There are ways to calculate your Gains and Cancellation of Debt. To learn the specifics on how your particular situation is impacted, visit the Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation section on the IRS website for guidance.