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taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170253
Publication 17

Your Federal 
Income Tax


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For Individuals

All material in this publication may be reprinted freely. A citation to Your Federal Income Tax (2009) would be appropriate.
The explanations and examples in this publication reflect the interpretation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of:
  • Tax laws enacted by Congress,
  • Treasury regulations, and
  • Court decisions.
However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning.
This publication covers some subjects on which a court may have made a decision more favorable to taxpayers than the interpretation by the IRS. Until these differing interpretations are resolved by higher court decisions or in some other way, this publication will continue to present the interpretations by the IRS.
All taxpayers have important rights when working with the IRS. These rights are described in Your Rights as a Taxpayer in the back of this publication.

What's New for 2009(p1)


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This section summarizes important tax changes that took effect in 2009. Most of these changes are discussed in more detail throughout this publication.
Changes are also discussed at www.irs.gov, click on Forms and Publications, and then on What's Hot in forms and publications.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207325

Economic recovery payment.(p1)

Any economic recovery payment you received is not taxable for federal income tax purposes, but it reduces any making work pay credit or government retiree credit.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207326

Making work pay credit.(p1)

If you have earned income from work, you may be able to take this credit. It is 6.2% of your earned income but cannot be more than $400 ($800 if married filing jointly). See chapter 37.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207327

Government retiree credit.(p1)

You may be able to take this credit if you get a government pension or annuity, but it reduces any making work pay credit. See chapter 37.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207453

U.S. Savings Bonds.(p1)

You can now use your refund to buy up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I savings bonds in multiples of $50. For more information, see Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207328

Cash for clunkers.(p1)

A $3,500 or $4,500 voucher or payment made for such a voucher under the CARS "cash for clunkers" program to buy or lease a new fuel-efficient automobile is not taxable for federal income tax purposes.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207329

Unemployment compensation.(p1)

You do not have to pay tax on unemployment compensation up to $2,400 per person for the year. Amounts over $2,400 are still taxable. See chapter 12.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207330

American opportunity education credit.(p1)

The maximum Hope education credit is increased to $2,500. The increased credit has been renamed the American opportunity credit and part of it is refundable. See chapter 35.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207331

Deduction for motor vehicle taxes.(p1)

If you bought a new motor vehicle in 2009 after February 16, you may be able to deduct any state or local sales or excise taxes on the purchase. In states without a sales tax, you may be able to deduct certain other taxes or fees instead. Take the deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you are itemizing deductions and are not electing to deduct state and local general sales taxes. If you are not itemizing deductions, these taxes increase your standard deduction as figured on Schedule L (Form 1040A or 1040). See chapter 20.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205032

Qualifying child definition revised.(p1)

The following changes to the definition of a qualifying child apply. See chapters 3, 21, 34, and 36.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207332

Earned income credit (EIC).(p1)

The EIC has increased for people with three or more children and for some married couples filing jointly. You may be able to take the EIC if:
The maximum AGI you can have and still get the credit also has increased. You may be able to take the credit if your AGI is less than the amount in the above list that applies to you. The maximum investment income you can have and still get the credit has increased to $3,100. See chapter 36.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207333

Divorced or separated parents.(p1)

A noncustodial parent claiming an exemption for a child can no longer attach certain pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement instead of Form 8332 if the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008. The noncustodial parent must attach Form 8332 or a similar statement signed by the custodial parent and whose only purpose is to release a claim to exemption. See chapter 3.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205768

Tax on child's investment income.(p1)

The amount of taxable investment income a child can have without it being subject to tax at the parent's rate has increased to $1,900. See chapter 31.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205033

Personal casualty and theft loss limit.(p1)

Generally, a personal casualty or theft loss must be more than $500 to be allowed. This is in addition to the 10% of AGI limit that generally applies to the net loss.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170260

First-time homebuyer credit.(p1)

The credit increases to as much as $8,000 ($4,000 if married filing separately) for homes bought after 2008 and before May 1, 2010 (before July 1, 2010, if you entered into a written binding contract before May 1, 2010). You can choose to claim the credit on your 2009 return for a home you bought in 2010 that qualifies for the credit. You generally must repay any credit you claimed on your 2008 return if you sold your home in 2009 or the home stopped being your main home during 2009.
For more information on these changes and other changes to the homebuyer credit, see chapter 37.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207099

Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount increased.(p1)

The AMT exemption amount is increased to $46,700 ($70,950 if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er); $35,475 if married filing separately). See chapter 30.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170267

Standard mileage rates.(p1)

For 2009, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is 55 cents per mile. See chapter 26.
For 2009, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for medical reasons is 24 cents per mile. See chapter 21.
For 2009, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for determining moving expenses is 24 cents per mile. See Publication 521, Moving Expenses.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207334

Electric vehicle credits.(p1)

You may be able to take a credit for:
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207335

Credit for nonbusiness energy property.(p1)

You may be able to take this credit for qualifying energy saving items for your home placed in service in 2009. See chapter 37.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170271

Retirement savings plans.(p1)

The following paragraphs highlight changes that affect individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and pension plans.
Traditional IRA income limits. You may be able to take an IRA deduction if you were covered by a retirement plan and your modified AGI is less than $65,000 ($109,000, if you are married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er). If your spouse was covered by a retirement plan, but you were not, you may be able to take an IRA deduction if your modified AGI is less than $176,000. See chapter 17.
Roth IRA income limit. You may be able to make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is less than $120,000 ($176,000, if you are married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er). See chapter 17.
Retirement savings contributions credit. The AGI limit for claiming this credit is increased to $27,750 ($41,625 if head of household; $55,500 if married filing jointly). See chapter 37.
Military differential pay. For IRA purposes, your compensation includes any military differential pay you receive from your employer while you are serving on active duty for a period of more than 30 days.
Elective salary deferrals. The maximum amount you can defer under all plans is generally limited to $16,500 ($11,500 if you have only SIMPLE plans; $19,500 for section 403(b) plans if you qualify for the 15-year rule). The catch-up contribution limit for individuals age 50 or older at the end of the year is increased to $5,500 (except for section 401(k)(11) plans and SIMPLE plans, for which this limit remains unchanged).
Temporary waiver of required minimum distribution rules. No minimum distribution is required from your IRA or most defined contribution retirement plans for 2009. See chapter 10 or, for IRAs, chapter 17.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170280

Certain amounts increased.(p1)

Some tax items that are indexed for inflation increased for 2009.
Standard deduction. The standard deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) has increased. The amount depends on your filing status. See chapter 20.
Exemption amount. You are allowed a $3,650 deduction for each exemption to which you are entitled. However, you will lose part of your exemption amount if you have high income. See chapter 3.
Limit on itemized deductions. Some of your itemized deductions may be limited if your adjusted gross income is more than $166,800 ($83,400 if you are married filing separately). See chapter 29.
Tax benefits for adoption. The maximum adoption credit and the maximum exclusion from income of benefits under an employer's adoption assistance program are increased to $12,150. See Adoption Credit in chapter 37.
Education credits income limits increased. The amount of income you can have and still claim an education credit has increased. See chapter 35.
Social security and Medicare taxes. The maximum wages subject to social security tax (6.2%) increased to $106,800. All wages are subject to Medicare tax (1.45%).
Credits increased. The following credits have increased for some people.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207337

Limit on exclusion of gain on sale of main home.(p2)

Generally, gain from the sale of your main home is no longer excludable from income if it is allocable to periods after 2008 when neither you nor your spouse (or your former spouse) used the property as a main home. See chapter 15.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207342

Recovery rebate credit expired.(p2)

This credit has expired and does not apply for 2009.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170289

Mailing your return.(p2)

If you are filing a paper return, you may be mailing your return to a different address because the IRS has changed the filing location for several areas. If you received an envelope with your tax package, please use it. Otherwise, see Where To File near the end of this publication for a list of IRS addresses.

What's New for 2010(p2)


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This section summarizes the important changes that take effect in 2010 that could affect your estimated tax payments for 2010. More information on these and other changes can be found at Forms and Publications. Click on Forms and Publications, then on What's Hot in forms and publications.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207344

Earned income credit (EIC).(p2)

You may be able to take the EIC if:
The maximum AGI you can have and still get the credit also has increased. You may be able to take the credit if your AGI is less than the amount in the above list that applies to you. The maximum investment income you can have and still get the credit is still $3,100.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205758

Decrease in personal casualty and theft loss limit.(p2)

Each personal casualty or theft loss is limited to the excess of the loss over $100 (instead of $500). This is in addition to the 10% of AGI limit that generally applies to the net loss.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205759

Disaster losses.(p2)

The special rules that were in effect in 2008 and 2009 for losses of personal use property attributable to federally declared disasters do not apply to losses occurring in 2010 and later years.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207159

Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount decreased.(p2)

The AMT exemption amount is scheduled to decrease to $33,750 ($45,000 if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er); $22,500 if married filing separately).
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000230117

Recapture of first-time homebuyer credit.(p2)

If you claimed the first-time homebuyer credit for a home you bought in 2008, you must begin repaying the credit in 2010.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000230115

IRA deduction expanded.(p2)

You may be able to take an IRA deduction if you were covered by a retirement plan and your 2010 modified AGI is less than $66,000 ($109,000 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)). If your spouse was covered by a retirement plan, but you were not, you may be able to take an IRA deduction if your 2010 modified AGI is less than $177,000.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205762

Roth IRA income limit.(p2)

You may be able to make a Roth IRA contribution if your modified AGI is less than $120,000 ($177,000 if you are married filing jointly).
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000205765

Conversions to Roth IRAs.(p2)

Beginning in 2010, the modified AGI and filing status requirements for conversions to Roth IRAs are eliminated.
Also, for any conversions in 2010, any amounts that would be included as income will be included in income in equal amounts in 2011 and 2012. You can choose to include the entire amount in income in 2010.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207349

Expiring tax benefits.(p2)

The following benefits are scheduled to expire and will not be available for 2010.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207350

Personal exemption and itemized deduction phaseouts ended.(p2)

For 2010, taxpayers with AGI above a certain amount will no longer lose part of their deduction for personal exemptions and itemized deductions.

Reminders(p3)


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Listed below are important reminders and other items that may help you file your 2009 tax return. Many of these items are explained in more detail later in this publication.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170299

Write in your social security number.(p3)

To protect your privacy, social security numbers (SSNs) are not printed on the peel-off label that comes in the mail with your tax instruction booklet. This means you must enter your SSN in the space provided on your tax form. If you filed a joint return for 2008 and are filing a joint return for 2009 with the same spouse, enter your names and SSNs in the same order as on your 2008 return. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170301

Secure your tax records from identity theft.(p3)

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, SSN, or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. An identity thief may use your SSN to get a job or may file a tax return using your SSN to receive a refund.
To reduce your risk:
If your tax records are affected by identity theft and you receive a notice from the IRS, respond right away to the name and phone number printed on the IRS notice or letter.
If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft but you think you are at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, etc., contact the IRS Identity Theft Hotline at 1-800-908-4490 or submit Form 14039.
For more information, see Publication 4535, Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Assistance.
Victims of identity theft who are experiencing economic harm or a systemic problem, or are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, may be eligible for Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) assistance. You can reach TAS by calling the TAS toll-free case intake line at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059.
Protect yourself from suspicious emails or phishing schemes. Phishing is the creation and use of email and websites designed to mimic legitimate business emails and websites. The most common form is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.
The IRS does not initiate contacts with taxpayers via emails. Also, the IRS does not request detailed personal information through email or ask taxpayers for the PIN numbers, passwords, or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank, or other financial accounts.
If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, forward the message to: phishing@irs.gov. You may also report misuse of the IRS name, logo, forms or other IRS property to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration toll-free at 1-800-366-4484. You can forward suspicious emails to the Federal Trade Commission at: spam@uce.gov or contact them at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov to learn more about identity theft and how to reduce your risk.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170302

Taxpayer identification numbers.(p3)

You must provide the taxpayer identification number for each person for whom you claim certain tax benefits. This applies even if the person was born in 2009. Generally, this number is the person's social security number (SSN). See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170304

Combat pay is earned income for IRA deductions.(p3)

For purposes of taking an IRA deduction, earned income includes any nontaxable combat pay received by a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207420

Rollovers to Roth IRAs.(p3)

You can roll over distributions from a qualified retirement plan into a Roth IRA. The rollover is not tax-free. See chapter 17.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207421

Tax relief for Kansas disaster area.(p3)

Temporary tax relief was enacted as a result of the May 4, 2007, storms and tornadoes affecting the Kansas disaster area. See Publication 4492-A, Information for Taxpayers Affected by the May 4, 2007, Kansas Storms and Tornadoes, for more details.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000207422

Tax relief for Midwestern disaster areas.(p3)

Temporary tax relief was enacted as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding affecting the Midwestern disaster areas. See Publication 4492-B, Information for Affected Taxpayers in the Midwestern Disaster Areas, for more details.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170305

Mortgage insurance premiums.(p3)

You may be able to treat mortgage insurance premiums paid in connection with home acquisition debt as home mortgage interest. See chapter 23.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170307

Qualified joint venture.(p3)

A qualified joint venture conducted by you and your spouse may not be treated as a partnership if you file a joint return for the tax year. See chapter 12.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170309

Recordkeeping requirements for cash contributions.(p3)

You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep as a record of the contribution a bank record (such as a canceled check, a blank copy of a canceled check, or a bank statement containing the name of the charity, the date, and amount) or a written communication from the charity. The written communication must include the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and amount of the contribution. See chapter 24.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170311

Foreign source income.(p3)

If you are a U.S. citizen with income from sources outside the United States (foreign income), you must report all such income on your tax return unless it is exempt by U.S. law. This is true whether you reside inside or outside the United States and whether or not you receive a Form W-2 or Form 1099 from the foreign payer. This applies to earned income (such as wages and tips) as well as unearned income (such as interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, rents and royalties).
If you reside outside the United States, you may be able to exclude part or all of your foreign source earned income. For details, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170312

Automatic six month extension to file tax return.(p3)

You can use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to obtain an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your tax return. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170314

Advance earned income credit.(p3)

If a qualifying child lives with you and you expect to qualify for the earned income credit in 2010, you may be able to get part of the credit paid to you in advance throughout the year (by your employer) instead of waiting until you file your tax return. See chapter 36.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170316

Tax Computation Worksheet.(p3)

If your taxable income is $100,000 or more, figure your tax using the Tax Computation Worksheet. The Tax Computation Worksheet is found near the end of this publication immediately following the Tax Tables.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170317

Joint return responsibility.(p3)

Generally, both spouses are responsible for the tax and any interest or penalties on a joint tax return. In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of that responsibility for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. See chapter 2.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170319

Include your phone number on your return.(p3)

To promptly resolve any questions we have in processing your tax return, we would like to be able to call you. Please enter your daytime telephone number on your tax form next to your signature.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170320

Third-party designee.(p3)

You can check the "Yes" box in the "Third Party Designee" area of your return to authorize the IRS to discuss your return with your preparer, a friend, a family member, or any other person you choose. This allows the IRS to call the person you identified as your designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of your return. It also allows your designee to perform certain actions. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170322

Payment of taxes.(p3)

Make your check or money order payable to "United States Treasury." You can pay your taxes by credit or debit card, using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or, if you file electronically, by electronic funds withdrawal. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170324

Faster ways to file your return.(p3)

The IRS offers fast, accurate ways to file your tax return information without filing a paper tax return. You can use IRS e-file (electronic filing). See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170326

Free electronic filing.(p3)

You may be able to file your 2009 taxes online for free thanks to an electronic filing agreement. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170328

Change of address.(p3)

If you change your address, you should notify the IRS. See Change of Address, under What Happens After I File, in chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170330

Private delivery services.(p3)

You may be able to use a designated private delivery service to mail your tax returns and payments. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170332

Refund on a late filed return.(p4)

If you were due a refund but you did not file a return, you generally must file your return within 3 years from the date the return was due (including extensions) to get that refund. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170334

Split refunds.(p4)

If you choose direct deposit of your refund, you may be able to split the refund into two or three accounts. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170336

Frivolous tax submissions.(p4)

The IRS has published a list of positions that are identified as frivolous. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. Also, the $5,000 penalty will apply to other specified frivolous submissions. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170338

Filing erroneous claim for refund or credit.(p4)

You may have to pay a penalty if you file an erroneous claim for refund or credit. See chapter 1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170340

Privacy Act and paperwork reduction information.(p4)

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 require that when we ask you for information we must first tell you what our legal right is to ask for the information, why we are asking for it, how it will be used, what could happen if we do not receive it, and whether your response is voluntary, required to obtain a benefit, or mandatory under the law. A complete statement on this subject can be found in your tax form instruction booklet.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170341

Customer service for taxpayers.(p4)

The Internal Revenue Service has expanded customer service for taxpayers. You can set up a personal appointment at the most convenient Taxpayer Assistance Center, on the most convenient business day. See How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170343

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.(p4)

If you want to confidentially report misconduct, waste, fraud, or abuse by an IRS employee, you can call 1-800-366-4484 (1-800-877-8339 for TTY/TDD users). You can remain anonymous.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170344

Photographs of missing children.(p4)

The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#TXMP683adf2f
This publication covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. It supplements the information contained in your tax form instruction booklet. It explains the tax law to make sure you pay only the tax you owe and no more.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170345

How this publication is arranged.(p5)


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This publication closely follows Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. It is divided into six parts which cover different sections of Form 1040. Each part is further divided into chapters which generally discuss one line of the form. Do not worry if you file Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. Anything included on a line of either of these forms is also included on Form 1040.
The table of contents inside the front cover and the index in the back of the publication are useful tools to help you find the information you need.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170346

What is in this publication.(p5)


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The publication begins with the rules for filing a tax return. It explains:
  1. Who must file a return,
  2. Which tax form to use,
  3. When the return is due,
  4. How to e-file your return, and
  5. Other general information.
It will help you identify which filing status you qualify for, whether you can claim any dependents, and whether the income you receive is taxable. The publication goes on to explain the standard deduction, the kinds of expenses you may be able to deduct, and the various kinds of credits you may be able to take to reduce your tax.
Throughout the publication are examples showing how the tax law applies in typical situations. Sample forms and schedules show you how to report certain items on your return. Also throughout the publication are flowcharts and tables that present tax information in an easy-to-understand manner.
Many of the subjects discussed in this publication are discussed in greater detail in other IRS publications. References to those other publications are provided for your information.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170347

Icons.(p5)
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Small graphic symbols, or icons, are used to draw your attention to special information. See Table 1, Legend of Icons, below, for an explanation of each icon used in this publication.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170348

What is not covered in this publication.(p5)


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Some material that you may find helpful is not included in this publication but can be found in your tax form instruction booklet. This includes lists of:
If you operate your own business or have other self-employment income, such as from babysitting or selling crafts, see the following publications for more information.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170349

Help from the IRS.(p5)


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previous topic occurrence Assistance for Taxpayers next topic occurrence

There are many ways you can get help from the IRS. These are explained under How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication.
taxmap/pub17/p17-000.htm#en_us_publink1000170351

Comments and suggestions.(p5)


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We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

 
Internal Revenue Service 
Individual Forms and Publications Branch 
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224


We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at *taxforms@irs.gov. (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
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Ordering forms and publications.(p5)
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Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

 
Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613


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Tax questions.(p5)
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If you have a tax question, check the information available on www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.
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IRS mission.(p5)


rule
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Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.

Table 1. Legend of Icons

Icon Explanation
Caution Items that may cause you particular problems, or an alert about pending legislation that may be enacted after this publication goes to print.
Access by computer An Internet site or an email address.
Address you may need An address you may need.
Records you should keep Items you should keep in your personal records.
Worksheet you may need to fill in Items you may need to figure or a worksheet you may need to complete.
Phone number An important phone number.
Tip Helpful information you may need.