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Publication 929

Glossary

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Adjusted gross income.(p22)
Gross income (defined later) minus adjustments to income (defined next).
Adjustments to income.(p22)
Deductions that are subtracted from gross income in figuring adjusted gross income. They include deductions for moving expenses, alimony paid, a penalty on early withdrawal of savings, and contributions to an individual retirement arrangement (IRA). Adjustments to income can be taken even if itemized deductions (defined later) aren’t claimed.
Alternative minimum tax.(p22)
A tax designed to collect at least a minimum amount of tax from taxpayers who benefit from the tax laws that give special treatment to certain kinds of income and allow deductions and credits for certain kinds of expenses.
Capital gain distribution.(p22)
An allocated amount paid to, or treated as paid to, a shareholder by a mutual fund, regulated investment company, or real estate investment trust from its net realized long-term capital gains. This amount is in addition to any ordinary dividend paid to the shareholder. You will receive a statement from the payer if this applies to you.
Dependent.(p22)
A person, other than the taxpayer or the taxpayer's spouse, for whom an exemption (defined later) can be claimed. To be your dependent, a person must be your qualifying child or qualifying relative (both defined later). For more information, see Exemptions for Dependents in Pub. 501.
Earned income.(p22)
Salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work actually performed.
For purposes of determining a dependent's standard deduction, earned income also includes any part of a scholarship or fellowship grant that the dependent must include in his or her gross income.
For purposes of completing Form 8615, earned income also includes a taxable distribution from a qualified disability trust. It doesn’t include unearned income as defined earlier, under Line 1 (Unearned Income).
Exemption.(p22)
An amount ($4,050 for 2016) that can be subtracted from income in figuring how much income will be taxed. Exemptions generally are allowed for the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, and dependents.
Full-time student.(p22)
A full-time student is a child who during some part of each of any 5 calendar months of the year was enrolled as a full-time student at a school, or took a full-time on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county, or local government agency. A school includes a technical, trade, or mechanical school. It doesn’t include an on-the-job training course, correspondence school, or school offering courses only through the Internet.
Gross income.(p22)
All income from all sources that isn’t exempt from tax and must be included on your tax return. Gross income is the total of your earned and unearned income.
For purposes of determining whether you must file a return, gross income includes gain from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it) and includes income earned outside the United States (even if you can exclude part or all of it).
Itemized deductions.(p22)
Deductions allowed on Schedule A (Form 1040) for medical and dental expenses, taxes, home mortgage interest and investment interest, charitable contributions, casualty and theft losses, and miscellaneous deductions. They are subtracted from adjusted gross income in figuring taxable income. Itemized deductions can’t be claimed if the standard deduction is chosen.
Net capital gain.(p22)
The excess of net long-term capital gain over any net short-term capital loss. For 2016, this is the smaller of the gain on line 15 or the gain on line 16 of Schedule D (Form 1040). If Schedule D (Form 1040) isn’t required, net capital gain is the amount of capital gain distributions on Form 1040, line 13; Form 1040A, line 10; or Form 1040NR, line 14.
Net unearned income.(p22)
The total of all unearned income (other than tax-exempt income) reduced by the sum of:
  1. Any adjustments to income (defined earlier) that are related to the unearned income, plus
  2. The larger of:
    1. $1,050 plus the portion of the child's itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 29 (or Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 15), that are directly connected with producing the unearned income, or
    2. $2,100.
Qualified dividends.(p22)
Dividends eligible for the lower tax rates that apply to a net capital gain. They are reported to you in box 1b of Form 1099-DIV. You report them on Form 1040 or Form 1040A, line 9b, or Form 1040NR, line 10b. For more information, see Pub. 550.
Qualifying child.(p22)
To be your dependent (defined earlier), a person must be either your qualifying child or your qualifying relative (defined next). Generally, a person is your qualifying child if that person:
  • Is your child, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them,
  • Lived with you for more than half of the year,
  • Didn’t provide more than half of his or her own support for the year,
  • Was under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly) (or was under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or was any age and permanently and totally disabled), and
  • Didn’t file a joint return with his or her spouse.
For details, see Exemptions for Dependents in Pub. 501.
Qualifying relative.(p23)
To be your dependent (defined earlier), a person must be either your qualifying child (defined earlier) or your qualifying relative. Generally, a person is your qualifying relative if that person:
  • Lives with or is related to you,
  • Doesn’t have $4,050 or more of gross (total) income,
  • Is supported (generally more than 50%) by you, and
  • Is neither your qualifying child nor the qualifying child of anyone else.
For details, see Exemptions for Dependents in Pub. 501.
Standard deduction.(p23)
An amount that can be subtracted from adjusted gross income in figuring taxable income. The standard deduction isn’t used if itemized deductions are claimed.
Support.(p23)
All amounts spent to provide the child with food, lodging, clothing, education, medical and dental care, recreation, transportation, and similar necessities. To figure your child's support, count support provided by you, your child, and others. However, a scholarship received by your child isn’t considered support if your child is a full-time student. See Pub. 501 for details.
Tax year.(p23)
The time period covered by a tax return. Usually this is January 1 to December 31, a calendar year, but taxpayers can elect a fiscal tax year with different beginning and ending dates.
Taxable income.(p23)
Gross income minus any adjustments to income, any allowable exemptions, and either itemized deductions or the standard deduction.
Unearned income.(p23)
Income other than earned income. This is investment-type income and includes interest, dividends, and capital gains (including capital gain distributions), rents, royalties, etc. Distributions of interest, dividends, capital gains, and other unearned income from a trust are also unearned income to a beneficiary of the trust. However, for purposes of completing Form 8615, a taxable distribution from a qualified disability trust is considered earned income.
Unrecaptured section 1250 gain.(p23)
Generally, any part of your net capital gain from selling section 1250 property (real property) that is due to depreciation. For details, see Pub. 550.
28% rate gain.(p23)
Gain from the sale of collectibles and, generally, the taxable part of your gain from the sale of qualified small business stock held more than 5 years. For details, see the instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040).
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How To Get Tax Help(p23)

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If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to IRS.gov and find resources that can help you right away.
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Preparing and filing your tax return.(p23)

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Find free options to prepare and file your return on IRS.gov or in your local community if you qualify.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need help preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. TCE volunteers specialize in answering questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
You can go to IRS.gov and click on the Filing tab to see your options for preparing and filing your return which include the following.
EIC
Getting answers to your tax law questions. On IRS.gov get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere.
  • Go to IRS.gov/help or IRS.gov/letushelp pages for a variety of tools that will help you get answers to some of the most common tax questions.
  • Go to IRS.gov/ita for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview and the final response for your records.
  • Go to IRS.gov/pub17 to get Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, which features details on tax-saving opportunities, 2016 tax changes, and thousands of interactive links to help you find answers to your questions. View it online in HTML or as a PDF or, better yet, download it to your mobile device to enjoy eBook features.
  • You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software.
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Getting tax forms and publications.(p24)

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Go to IRS.gov/forms to view, download, or print all of the forms and publications you may need. You can also download and view popular tax publications and instructions (including the 1040 instructions) on mobile devices as an eBook at no charge. Or, you can go to IRS.gov/orderforms to place an order and have forms mailed to you within 10 business days.
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Using direct deposit.(p24)

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The fastest way to receive a tax refund is to combine direct deposit and IRS e-file. Direct deposit securely and electronically transfers your refund directly into your financial account. Eight in 10 taxpayers use direct deposit to receive their refund. IRS issues more than 90% of refunds in less than 21 days.
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Delayed refund for returns claiming certain credits.(p24)

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Due to changes in the law, the IRS can’t issue refunds before February 15, 2017, for returns that claim the earned income credit (EIC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC). This applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with these credits.
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Getting a transcript or copy of a return.(p24)

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The quickest way to get a copy of your tax transcript is to go to IRS.gov/transcripts. Click on either "Get Transcript Online" or "Get Transcript by Mail" to order a copy of your transcript. If you prefer, you can:
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Using online tools to help prepare your return.(p24)

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Go to IRS.gov/tools for the following.
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Resolving tax-related identity theft issues.(p24)

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Checking on the status of your refund.(p24)

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Making a tax payment.(p24)

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The IRS uses the latest encryption technology to ensure your electronic payments are safe and secure. You can make electronic payments online, by phone, and from a mobile device using the IRS2Go app. Paying electronically is quick, easy, and faster than mailing in a check or money order. Go to IRS.gov/payments to make a payment using any of the following options.
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What if I can’t pay now?(p24)

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Go to IRS.gov/payments for more information about your options.
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Checking the status of an amended return.(p24)

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Go to IRS.gov and click on Where’s My Amended Return? (IRS.gov/wmar) under the "Tools" bar to track the status of Form 1040X amended returns. Please note that it can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed your amended return for it show up in our system and processing it can take up to 16 weeks.
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Understanding an IRS notice or letter.(p24)

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Go to IRS.gov/notices to find additional information about responding to an IRS notice or letter.
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Contacting your local IRS office.(p25)

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Keep in mind, many questions can be resolved on IRS.gov without visiting an IRS Tax Assistance Center (TAC). Go to IRS.gov/letushelp for the topics people ask about most. If you still need help, IRS TACs provide tax help when a tax issue can’t be handled online or by phone. All TACs now provide service by appointment so you’ll know in advance that you can get the service you need without waiting. Before you visit, go to IRS.gov/taclocator to find the nearest TAC, check hours, available services, and appointment options. Or, on the IRS2Go app, under the Stay Connected tab, choose the Contact Us option and click on “Local Offices.”
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Watching IRS videos.(p25)

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The IRS Video portal (IRSvideos.gov) contains video and audio presentations for individuals, small businesses, and tax professionals.
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Getting tax information in other languages.(p25)

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For taxpayers whose native language isn’t English, we have the following resources available. Taxpayers can find information on IRS.gov in the following languages.
The IRS TACs provide over-the-phone interpreter service in over 170 languages, and the service is available free to taxpayers.
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The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here To Help You(p25)

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What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?(p25)

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The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
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What Can the Taxpayer Advocate Service Do For You?(p25)

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We can help you resolve problems that you can’t resolve with the IRS. And our service is free. If you qualify for our assistance, you will be assigned to one advocate who will work with you throughout the process and will do everything possible to resolve your issue. TAS can help you if:
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How Can You Reach Us?(p25)

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We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Your local advocate’s number is in your local directory and at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov. You can also call us at 1-877-777-4778.
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How Can You Learn About Your Taxpayer Rights?(p25)

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes 10 basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Our Tax Toolkit at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov can help you understand what these rights mean to you and how they apply. These are your rights. Know them. Use them.
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How Else Does the Taxpayer Advocate Service Help Taxpayers?(p25)

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TAS works to resolve large-scale problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us at IRS.gov/sams.
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Low Income Taxpayer Clinics(p25)

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Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes. Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. To find a clinic near you, visit IRS.gov/litc or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.