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1040

2010
  Forms and Instructions
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A Message From the Commissioner(p2)

Dear Taxpayer,
Every year, the IRS works hard to make the process of filing your taxes as quick and easy as possible. Providing quality service is one of our top priorities. It not only reduces the burden on you, but also helps you file an accurate return right from the start.
The best place to get information from the IRS is our website, IRS.gov. In addition to getting your tax questions answered, there’s also a very popular feature, Where’s My Refund? to track the progress of your refund. You can also find informative videos to help you understand your tax obligations on YouTube, at www.youtube.com/irsvideos.
I would like to bring to your attention a couple of items that could be of help as you file and pay your taxes this year. A number of federal tax incentives that were enacted in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are still in effect for 2010. These include the American Opportunity Credit and the expanded Earned Income Credit. Make sure you check to see if you qualify for these and other important deductions and credits.
Remember that the fastest and easiest way to get your refund is to e-file and use direct deposit. You could receive your refund in as little as 10 days after filing, which can help you pay bills, make some important purchases and maybe put some money aside for savings.
E-file has become so popular that seven out of 10 individual taxpayers now e-file their return. It’s the first choice for about 100 million taxpayers because it’s fast, safe and accurate.
Taxpayers below a certain income level can qualify to use free tax preparation software through the Free File program. Plus, everyone can e-file for free using fillable forms available at IRS.gov. So, isn’t it time you made the switch to e-file?
If you need any more information or have questions about taxes or tax credits, please visit us at IRS.gov or call our toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040. We are here to help you.

Sincerely,  
  
comsig 
Douglas H. Shulman

The IRS Mission(p2)

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.
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The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here To Help
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated equally and fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. We offer free help to guide you through the often confusing process of resolving tax problems that you have not been able to solve on your own. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all!

First, try to resolve your problem on your own. But, if you cannot do so, then come to us. TAS can help if:
  • Your problem with the IRS is causing financial difficulties or hardship for you or your family.
  • You have tried repeatedly to contact the IRS, but no one has responded.
  • The IRS has not responded to you by the date promised.

When you come to the TAS for help, you will be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. Your advocate will listen to you, help you understand what needs to be done, and stay with you until your problem is resolved. We have offices in every state, and our advocates are all experienced with the IRS, so we know how to cut through the red tape. TAS can help you work out an alternative payment plan. We’ll make sure the right people hear your case, and that they act upon it.
As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must abide by in its dealings with you. Our tax toolkit at www.taxtoolkit.irs.gov is a first step toward understanding what your rights are. You can get updates on hot tax topics by visiting our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/tasnta and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YourVoiceAtIRS, or by following our tweets at www.twitter.com/YourVoiceAtIRS.

If you think TAS might be able to help you, you can call your local advocate, whose number is in your phone book; in Pub. 1546, Taxpayer Advocate Service—Your Voice at the IRS; and on our website at www.irs.gov/advocate. You can also call our toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs)
The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic program serves individuals who have a problem with the IRS and whose income is below a certain level. LITCs are independent from the IRS. Most LITCs can provide representation before the IRS or in court on audits, tax collection disputes, and other issues for free or for a small fee. If an individual’s native language is not English, some clinics can provide information in certain other languages about taxpayer rights and responsibilities. For more information, see Pub. 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. This publication is available at IRS.gov, by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or at your local IRS office.
 
Suggestions for Improving the IRS

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
Have a suggestion for improving the IRS and do not know who to contact? The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) is a diverse group of citizen volunteers who listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction. The panel is demographically and geographically diverse, with at least one member from each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Contact TAP at www.improveirs.org or 1-888-912-1227 (toll-free).
 
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Electronic Filing (e-file) Text DescriptionElectronic Filing (e-file)   
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What's New(p6)

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If there are additional changes to the 2010 tax law, you can find them at  
www.irs.gov/form1040.
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Due date of return.(p6)
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File Form 1040 by April 18, 2011. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia—even if you do not live in the District of Columbia.
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Limits on personal exemptions and overall itemized deductions ended.(p6)
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For 2010, you will no longer lose part of your deduction for personal exemptions and itemized deductions, regardless of the amount of your adjusted gross income (AGI).
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Self-employed health insurance deduction.(p6)
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Effective March 30, 2010, if you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to include in your deduction on line 29 any premiums you paid to cover your child who was under age 27 at the end of 2010, even if the child was not your dependent. For 2010, the line 29 deduction is also allowed on Schedule SE. See the instructions for line 29 that begin on page 28.
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Adoption credit.(p6)
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The maximum adoption credit has increased to $13,170. The credit is now refundable and is claimed on line 71. See Form 8839.
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Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount increased.(p6)
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The AMT exemption amount has increased to $47,450 ($72,450 if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er); $36,225 if married filing separately).
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First-time homebuyer credit.(p6)
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You generally cannot claim the credit for a home you bought after April 30, 2010. However, you may be able to claim the credit if you entered into a written binding contract before May 1, 2010, to buy the home before July 1, 2010, and actually bought the home before October 1, 2010. Also, certain members of the Armed Forces and certain other taxpayers have additional time to buy a home and take the credit. See page 69.
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Repayment of first-time homebuyer credit.(p6)
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If you claimed the first-time homebuyer credit for a home you bought in 2008, you generally must begin repaying it on your 2010 return. In addition, you generally must repay any credit you claimed for 2008 or 2009 if you sold your home in 2010 or the home stopped being your main home in 2010. See the instructions for line 59 on page 43.
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Roth IRAs and designated Roth accounts.(p6)
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Half of any income that results from a rollover or conversion to a Roth IRA from another retirement plan in 2010 is included in income in 2011, and the other half in 2012, unless you elect to include all of it in 2010. The same rule applies to a rollover after September 27, 2010, to a designated Roth account in the same plan. See Form 8606.
You now can make a qualified rollover contribution to a Roth IRA regardless of the amount of your modified AGI.
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Standard mileage rates.(p6)
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The 2010 rate for business use of your vehicle is reduced to 50 cents a mile. The 2010 rate for use of your vehicle to get medical care or to move is reduced to 161/2 cents a mile.
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Personal casualty and theft loss limit reduced.(p6)
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Each personal casualty or theft loss is limited to the excess of the loss over $100 (instead of the $500 limit that applied for 2009). See Form 4684.
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Divorced or separated parents.(p6)
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A custodial parent who has revoked his or her previous release of a claim to a child's exemption must include a copy of the revocation with his or her return. See page 16.
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Domestic production activities income.(p6)
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The percentage rate for 2010 increases to 9%. However, the deduction is reduced if you have oil-related qualified production activities income. See page 33.
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Decedents who died in 2010.(p6)
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For special rules that may apply to decedents who died in 2010, including rules for property acquired from a decedent who died in 2010, see new Pub. 4895.
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Expired tax benefits.(p6)
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The following tax benefits have expired and are not available for 2010.
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Mailing your return.(p6)
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If you are filing a paper return, you may be mailing it to a different address this year because the IRS has changed the filing location for several areas. See Where Do You File? on the last page of these instructions.
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Disclosure of information by paid preparers.(p6)
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If you use a paid preparer to file your return, the preparer is allowed, in some cases, to disclose certain information from your return, such as your name and address, to certain other parties, such as the preparer’s professional liability insurance company or the publisher of a tax newsletter. For details, see Revenue Rulings 2010-4 and 2010-5. You can find Revenue Ruling 2010-4 on page 309 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-4 at www.irs.gov/irb/2010-04_IRB/ar08.html. You can find Revenue Ruling 2010-5 on page 312 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-4 at www.irs.gov/irb/2010-04_IRB/ar09.html.
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Preparer e-file mandate.(p6)
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A new law requires some paid preparers to e-file returns they prepare and file. Your preparer may make you aware of this requirement and the options available to you.