Most people who file their own state and federal taxes typically starts with IRS Form 1040, but this is far from the only form you will need, or even the only possible form you can file. As an international tax attorney, I’ve seen it all. Typically, there are three different IRS income tax forms to choose from, and to claim certain deductions you need to attach separate forms that prove your eligibility for the deduction. Keep in mind however, that tax laws change on a regular basis and that this article, like all information on the web, could be outdated so be sure to call us for a free consultation if you avhe questions. With that said, let’s continue…
Which Tax Form Should I Use?
Most individual taxpayers will file one of three basic tax forms; Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040. Form 1040EZ is the easiest and most streamlined to use. To qualify to use 1040EZ there can’t be any complications relating to household wages paid to a household employee, certain kinds of deduction or credit payments, dependents, or other complications.
Those who do not qualify to use Form 1040EZ may be qualified to file the alternative Form 1040A, which permits a greater range of tax credits and deductions. Form 1040A remains greatly streamlined and does not permit itemized deductions, dependents, or certain other complicating elements. Those who do not qualify to use Form 1040A may still employ Form 1040 to itemize deductions, claim adjustments and credits, or have other complications such as excise tax or uncollected employee tax.
Taxpayer Assistance Resources
The complicated nature of tax codes can make filing taxes stressful and confusing. If you are feeling overwhelmed there are a number of agencies and organizations that offer assistance to taxpayers. If you have questions about how to file, exemptions, forms to use, filing status, or other issues related to tax laws one of the organizations listed may be able to help.
These resources include national programs such as the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service, the Intuit/Turbo Tax Freedom Project, and the America Pledge Offer. Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces may be eligible for assistance from the U.S. Armed Forces Tax Information provided by the IRS. Seniors may find taxpayer assistance through The American Association of Retired People’s Tax Aide Service or from the 60 Plus Association, both of which focus on tax issues affecting seniors, as well as resources relating to the “death” tax and Social Security.
IRS Forms and Publications
In addition to the other resources available here there are a number of sections available that provide access to the bewildering array of forms the IRS and state tax authorities’ use in the administration of their tax programs. These sections are conveniently divided so that you can look at your state specific tax forms, the IRS forms and publications that are most frequently requested by taxpayers, as well as comprehensive databases of federal tax forms and resources. Some of these resources are searchable by subject and many will direct you to the agency websites where you can fill a form out online, download and print a form, and in some cases allow you to submit forms digitally.
Where Do I File My Taxes?
After you complete your return, the next step is to send it to the IRS. You can do so by mailing it in the old-fashioned way or filing it online. Below, you’ll find more information about your filing options.
Filing Your Return Electronically
If you have access to the Internet and an email address, you can file a tax return electronically using the IRS’s “e-file” system. The IRS offers four ways to e-file your return:
- If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than $57,000, you can use “Free File,” the free tax preparation software from the IRS;
- You can do the math yourself and simply fill in the forms on the IRS website;
- You can use tax preparation software, follow the prompts, and press “send” once your forms are complete; or
- You can hire an accountant to prepare your taxes and file them for you.
The IRS also allows you to pay your taxes electronically using its online system. You can specify whether you would like your refund deposited directly into your bank account or mailed to you by check.
E-filing has several benefits over filing by mail. For one, most tax preparation software will do the math for you and help you catch careless errors. Electronically filed tax returns also tend to be processed faster than paper returns, which means you’ll get your refund faster if you’re owed one.
Mailing Your Return
Alternatively, you could mail in your tax return. Before you do, it’s worth double checking your forms to make sure they’re accurate and the calculations are correct. Be sure to include a check or indicate when you’ll pay your taxes if necessary. Just like e-filing, you can choose to receive your refund by check or by direct deposit.
Finally, make sure you’re sending your tax returns to the correct address. If an addressed envelope came with your tax forms package, you should use it to mail your return. If you don’t have an addressed envelope, check the IRS’s site for the specific addresses for each state and each type of tax return.
Tax Attorney Free Consultation
When you need legal help with tax forms, please call Ascent Law for your free tax law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506