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Tax Relief for Victims of Tropical Storm Irene in Massachusetts
E-file to Remain Open through Oct. 31 for Irene Victims
Sept. 6, 2011
BOSTON — Victims of Tropical Storm Irene that began on Aug. 27, 2011, in Massachusetts may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.
The President has declared the following counties a federal disaster area: Berkshire and Franklin. Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.
The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Aug. 27, and on or before Oct. 31, have been postponed to Oct. 31, 2011. This includes corporations and other businesses that previously obtained an extension until Sept. 15 to file their 2010 returns, and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until Oct. 17. It also includes the estimated tax payment for the third quarter, normally due Sept. 15.
In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 27, and on or before Sept. 12, as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 12, 2011.
If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.
The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.
Covered Disaster Area
The counties listed above constitute a covered disaster area for purposes of Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(2) and are entitled to the relief detailed below.
Taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts are those taxpayers listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1), and include individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief. In addition, all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.
Grant of Relief
Under section 7508A, the IRS gives affected taxpayers until Oct. 31 to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns), or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after Aug. 27 and on or before Oct. 31.
The IRS also gives affected taxpayers until Oct. 31 to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388 (Aug. 20, 2007), that are due to be performed on or after Aug. 27 and on or before Oct. 31.
This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56. The relief described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56, pertaining to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.
The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. The IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 27 and on or before Sept. 12 provided the taxpayer makes these deposits by Sept. 12.
Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.
Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684 and its instructions.
Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on last year’s return should put the Disaster Designation “Massachusetts/Tropical Storm Irene” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.
The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.
Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.
Taxpayers may download forms and publications from this website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 20-Feb-2014
1040 1. 1040 Filing Information Table of Contents What's New Reminders Introduction Do I Have To File a Return?Individuals—In General Dependents Certain Children Under Age 19 or Full-Time Students Self-Employed Persons Aliens Who Should File Which Form Should I Use?Form 1040EZ Form 1040A Form 1040 Does My Return Have To Be on Paper?IRS e-file When Do I Have To File?Private delivery services. 1040 Extensions of Time To File How Do I Prepare My Return?When Do I Report My Income and Expenses? Social Security Number (SSN) Presidential Election Campaign Fund Computations Attachments Third Party Designee Signatures Paid Preparer Refunds Amount You Owe Gift To Reduce Debt Held by the Public Name and Address Where Do I File? What Happens After I File?What Records Should I Keep? Why Keep Records? Kinds of Records to Keep Basic Records How Long to Keep Records Refund Information Interest on Refunds Change of Address What If I Made a Mistake?Amended Returns and Claims for Refund Penalties Identity Theft What's New Filing status for same-sex married couple. 1040 If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. 1040 See Publication 501 for more information. 1040 Additional Medicare Tax. 1040 Beginning in 2013, a 0. 1040 9% Additional Medicare Tax applies to Medicare wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income over a threshold amount based on your filing status. 1040 For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040, line 60, and Form 8959. 1040 Net Investment Income Tax. 1040 Beginning in 2013, you may be subject to Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). 1040 NIIT is a 3. 1040 8% tax on the lesser of net investment income or the excess of your modified adjusted gross income over a threshold amount. 1040 For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040, line 60, and Form 8960. 1040 Refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1040 The refundable portion of the credit for prior year minimum tax is no longer available. 1040 Who must file. 1040 Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a return has been increased. 1040 See Table 1-1, Table 1-2, and Table 1-3 for the specific amounts. 1040 Reminders File online. 1040 Rather than filing a return on paper, you may be able to file electronically using IRS e-file. 1040 Create your own personal identification number (PIN) and file a completely paperless tax return. 1040 For more information, see Does My Return Have To Be on Paper , later. 1040 Change of address. 1040 If you change your address, you should notify the IRS. 1040 You can use Form 8822 to notify the IRS of the change. 1040 See Change of Address , later, under What Happens After I File. 1040 Enter your social security number. 1040 You must enter your social security number (SSN) in the spaces provided on your tax return. 1040 If you file a joint return, enter the SSNs in the same order as the names. 1040 Direct deposit of refund. 1040 Instead of getting a paper check, you may be able to have your refund deposited directly into your account at a bank or other financial institution. 1040 See Direct Deposit under Refunds, later. 1040 If you choose direct deposit of your refund, you may be able to split the refund among two or three accounts. 1040 Pay online or by phone. 1040 If you owe additional tax, you may be able to pay online or by phone. 1040 See How To Pay , later. 1040 Installment agreement. 1040 If you cannot pay the full amount due with your return, you may ask to make monthly installment payments. 1040 See Installment Agreement , later, under Amount You Owe. 1040 You may be able to apply online for a payment agreement if you owe federal tax, interest, and penalties. 1040 Automatic 6-month extension. 1040 You can get an automatic 6-month extension to file your tax return if, no later than the date your return is due, you file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U. 1040 S. 1040 Individual Income Tax Return. 1040 See Automatic Extension , later. 1040 Service in combat zone. 1040 You are allowed extra time to take care of your tax matters if you are a member of the Armed Forces who served in a combat zone, or if you served in the combat zone in support of the Armed Forces. 1040 See Individuals Serving in Combat Zone , later, under When Do I Have To File. 1040 Adoption taxpayer identification number. 1040 If a child has been placed in your home for purposes of legal adoption and you will not be able to get a social security number for the child in time to file your return, you may be able to get an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). 1040 For more information, see Social Security Number (SSN) , later. 1040 Taxpayer identification number for aliens. 1040 If you or your dependent is a nonresident or resident alien who does not have and is not eligible to get a social security number, file Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, with the IRS. 1040 For more information, see Social Security Number (SSN) , later. 1040 Frivolous tax submissions. 1040 The IRS has published a list of positions that are identified as frivolous. 1040 The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. 1040 Also, the $5,000 penalty will apply to other specified frivolous submissions. 1040 For more information, see Civil Penalties , later. 1040 Introduction This chapter discusses the following topics. 1040 Whether you have to file a return. 1040 Which form to use. 1040 How to file electronically. 1040 When, how, and where to file your return. 1040 What happens if you pay too little or too much tax. 1040 What records you should keep and how long you should keep them. 1040 How you can change a return you have already filed. 1040 Do I Have To File a Return? You must file a federal income tax return if you are a citizen or resident of the United States or a resident of Puerto Rico and you meet the filing requirements for any of the following categories that apply to you. 1040 Individuals in general. 1040 (There are special rules for surviving spouses, executors, administrators, legal representatives, U. 1040 S. 1040 citizens and residents living outside the United States, residents of Puerto Rico, and individuals with income from U. 1040 S. 1040 possessions. 1040 ) Dependents. 1040 Certain children under age 19 or full-time students. 1040 Self-employed persons. 1040 Aliens. 1040 The filing requirements for each category are explained in this chapter. 1040 The filing requirements apply even if you do not owe tax. 1040 Even if you do not have to file a return, it may be to your advantage to do so. 1040 See Who Should File, later. 1040 File only one federal income tax return for the year regardless of how many jobs you had, how many Forms W-2 you received, or how many states you lived in during the year. 1040 Do not file more than one original return for the same year, even if you have not gotten your refund or have not heard from the IRS since you filed. 1040 Individuals—In General If you are a U. 1040 S. 1040 citizen or resident, whether you must file a return depends on three factors: Your gross income, Your filing status, and Your age. 1040 To find out whether you must file, see Table 1-1, Table 1-2, and Table 1-3. 1040 Even if no table shows that you must file, you may need to file to get money back. 1040 (See Who Should File , later. 1040 ) Gross income. 1040 This includes all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. 1040 It also includes income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude all or part of it). 1040 Include part of your social security benefits if: You were married, filing a separate return, and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013; or Half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). 1040 If either (1) or (2) applies, see the instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A, or Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, to figure the social security benefits you must include in gross income. 1040 Common types of income are discussed in Part Two of this publication. 1040 Community income. 1040 If you are married and your permanent home is in a community property state, half of any income described by state law as community income may be considered yours. 1040 This affects your federal taxes, including whether you must file if you do not file a joint return with your spouse. 1040 See Publication 555, Community Property, for more information. 1040 Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. 1040 A registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California generally must report half the combined community income of the individual and his or her domestic partner. 1040 See Publication 555. 1040 Self-employed individuals. 1040 If you are self-employed, your gross income includes the amount on line 7 of Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business; line 1 of Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), Net Profit From Business; and line 9 of Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming. 1040 See Self-Employed Persons , later, for more information about your filing requirements. 1040 If you do not report all of your self-employment income, your social security benefits may be lower when you retire. 1040 Filing status. 1040 Your filing status depends on whether you are single or married and on your family situation. 1040 Your filing status is determined on the last day of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. 1040 See chapter 2 for an explanation of each filing status. 1040 Age. 1040 If you are 65 or older at the end of the year, you generally can have a higher amount of gross income than other taxpayers before you must file. 1040 See Table 1-1. 1040 You are considered 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. 1040 For example, if your 65th birthday is on January 1, 2014, you are considered 65 for 2013. 1040 Table 1-1. 1040 2013 Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers IF your filing status is. 1040 . 1040 . 1040 AND at the end of 2013 you were. 1040 . 1040 . 1040 * THEN file a return if your gross income was at least. 1040 . 1040 . 1040 ** single under 65 $10,000 65 or older $11,500 married filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $20,000 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400 married filing separately any age $3,900 head of household under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300 * If you were born on January 1, 1949, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2013. 1040 ** Gross income means all income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). 1040 Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). 1040 If (a) or (b) applies, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A or Publication 915 to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. 1040 Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. 1040 Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. 1040 But, in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. 1040 *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. 1040 Surviving Spouses, Executors, Administrators, and Legal Representatives You must file a final return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. 1040 You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. 1040 The decedent met the filing requirements at the date of death. 1040 For more information on rules for filing a decedent's final return, see Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators. 1040 U. 1040 S. 1040 Citizens and Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you received abroad, including any income you can exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. 1040 For information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. 1040 S. 1040 Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. 1040 It is available online and at most U. 1040 S. 1040 embassies and consulates. 1040 See How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication. 1040 Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U. 1040 S. 1040 citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you generally must file a U. 1040 S. 1040 income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. 1040 This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. 1040 If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the entire year, your U. 1040 S. 1040 gross income does not include income from sources within Puerto Rico. 1040 It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or a U. 1040 S. 1040 agency. 1040 If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that is not subject to U. 1040 S. 1040 tax, you must reduce your standard deduction. 1040 As a result, the amount of income you must have before you are required to file a U. 1040 S. 1040 income tax return is lower than the applicable amount in Table 1-1 or Table 1-2. 1040 For more information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U. 1040 S. 1040 Possessions. 1040 Individuals With Income From U. 1040 S. 1040 Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U. 1040 S. 1040 Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U. 1040 S. 1040 federal income tax return. 1040 In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual island government. 1040 See Publication 570 for more information. 1040 Dependents If you are a dependent (one who meets the dependency tests in chapter 3), see Table 1-2 to find out whether you must file a return. 1040 You also must file if your situation is described in Table 1-3. 1040 Responsibility of parent. 1040 Generally, a child is responsible for filing his or her own tax return and for paying any tax on the return. 1040 If a dependent child must file an income tax return but cannot file due to age or any other reason, then a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. 1040 If the child cannot sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child. 1040 ” Child's earnings. 1040 Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. 1040 This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. 1040 But if the child does not pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. 1040 Certain Children Under Age 19 or Full-Time Students If a child's only income is interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends), the child was under age 19 at the end of 2013 or was a full-time student under age 24 at the end of 2013, and certain other conditions are met, a parent can elect to include the child's income on the parent's return. 1040 If this election is made, the child does not have to file a return. 1040 See Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in chapter 31. 1040 Self-Employed Persons You are self-employed if you: Carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor, Are an independent contractor, Are a member of a partnership, or Are in business for yourself in any other way. 1040 Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as certain part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job. 1040 You must file a return if your gross income is at least as much as the filing requirement amount for your filing status and age (shown in Table 1-1). 1040 Also, you must file Form 1040 and Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax, if: Your net earnings from self-employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more, or You had church employee income of $108. 1040 28 or more. 1040 (See Table 1-3. 1040 ) Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure your self-employment tax. 1040 Self-employment tax is comparable to the social security and Medicare tax withheld from an employee's wages. 1040 For more information about this tax, see Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. 1040 Employees of foreign governments or international organizations. 1040 If you are a U. 1040 S. 1040 citizen who works in the United States for an international organization, a foreign government, or a wholly owned instrumentality of a foreign government, and your employer is not required to withhold social security and Medicare taxes from your wages, you must include your earnings from services performed in the United States when figuring your net earnings from self-employment. 1040 Ministers. 1040 You must include income from services you performed as a minister when figuring your net earnings from self-employment, unless you have an exemption from self-employment tax. 1040 This also applies to Christian Science practitioners and members of a religious order who have not taken a vow of poverty. 1040 For more information, see Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers. 1040 Table 1-2. 1040 2013 Filing Requirements for Dependents See chapter 3 to find out if someone can claim you as a dependent. 1040 If your parents (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. 1040 (See Table 1-3 for other situations when you must file. 1040 ) In this table, earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, and professional fees. 1040 It also includes taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. 1040 (See Scholarships and fellowships in chapter 12. 1040 ) Unearned income includes investment-type income such as taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. 1040 It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, cancellation of debt, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. 1040 Gross income is the total of your earned and unearned income. 1040 Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. 1040 You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1040 • Your unearned income was more than $1,000. 1040 • Your earned income was more than $6,100. 1040 • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $1,000, or • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. 1040 □ Yes. 1040 You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1040 • Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind). 1040 • Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind). 1040 • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind), or • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind). 1040 Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. 1040 You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1040 • Your unearned income was more than $1,000. 1040 • Your earned income was more than $6,100. 1040 • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 1040 • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $1,000, or • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. 1040 □ Yes. 1040 You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1040 • Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind). 1040 • Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind). 1040 • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 1040 • Your gross income was more than the larger of: • $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind), or • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind). 1040 Aliens Your status as an alien—resident, nonresident, or dual-status—determines whether and how you must file an income tax return. 1040 The rules used to determine your alien status are discussed in Publication 519, U. 1040 S. 1040 Tax Guide for Aliens. 1040 Resident alien. 1040 If you are a resident alien for the entire year, you must file a tax return following the same rules that apply to U. 1040 S. 1040 citizens. 1040 Use the forms discussed in this publication. 1040 Nonresident alien. 1040 If you are a nonresident alien, the rules and tax forms that apply to you are different from those that apply to U. 1040 S. 1040 citizens and resident aliens. 1040 See Publication 519 to find out if U. 1040 S. 1040 income tax laws apply to you and which forms you should file. 1040 Dual-status taxpayer. 1040 If you are a resident alien for part of the tax year and a nonresident alien for the rest of the year, you are a dual-status taxpayer. 1040 Different rules apply for each part of the year. 1040 For information on dual-status taxpayers, see Publication 519. 1040 Table 1-3. 1040 Other Situations When You Must File a 2013 Return You must file a return if any of the four conditions below apply for 2013. 1040 1. 1040 You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. 1040 a. 1040 Alternative minimum tax. 1040 b. 1040 Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. 1040 But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. 1040 c. 1040 Household employment taxes. 1040 But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Schedule H by itself. 1040 d. 1040 Social security and Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes. 1040 e. 1040 Recapture of first-time homebuyer credit. 1040 f. 1040 Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional taxes on health savings accounts. 1040 g. 1040 Recapture taxes. 1040 2. 1040 You (or your spouse, if filing jointly) received HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA distributions. 1040 3. 1040 You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. 1040 4. 1040 You had wages of $108. 1040 28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. 1040 Who Should File Even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return to get money back if any of the following conditions apply. 1040 You had federal income tax withheld or made estimated tax payments. 1040 You qualify for the earned income credit. 1040 See chapter 36 for more information. 1040 You qualify for the additional child tax credit. 1040 See chapter 34 for more information. 1040 You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. 1040 See chapter 37 for more information. 1040 You qualify for the American opportunity credit. 1040 See chapter 35 for more information. 1040 You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. 1040 See chapter 37 for more information. 1040 Which Form Should I Use? You must use one of three forms to file your return: Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040. 1040 (But also see Does My Return Have To Be on Paper , later. 1040 ) See the discussion under Form 1040 for when you must use that form. 1040 Form 1040EZ Form 1040EZ is the simplest form to use. 1040 You can use Form 1040EZ if all of the following apply. 1040 Your filing status is single or married filing jointly. 1040 If you were a nonresident alien at any time in 2013, your filing status must be married filing jointly. 1040 You (and your spouse if married filing a joint return) were under age 65 and not blind at the end of 2013. 1040 If you were born on January 1, 1949, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2013. 1040 You do not claim any dependents. 1040 Your taxable income is less than $100,000. 1040 Your income is only from wages, salaries, tips, unemployment compensation, Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, and taxable interest of $1,500 or less. 1040 You do not claim any adjustments to income, such as a deduction for IRA contributions or student loan interest. 1040 You do not claim any credits other than the earned income credit. 1040 You do not owe any household employment taxes on wages you paid to a household employee. 1040 If you earned tips, they are included in boxes 5 and 7 of your Form W-2. 1040 You are not a debtor in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005. 1040 You must meet all of these requirements to use Form 1040EZ. 1040 If you do not, you must use Form 1040A or Form 1040. 1040 Figuring tax. 1040 On Form 1040EZ, you can use only the tax table to figure your income tax. 1040 You cannot use Form 1040EZ to report any other tax. 1040 Form 1040A If you do not qualify to use Form 1040EZ, you may be able to use Form 1040A. 1040 You can use Form 1040A if all of the following apply. 1040 Your income is only from: Wages, salaries, and tips, Interest, Ordinary dividends (including Alaska Permanent Fund dividends), Capital gain distributions, IRA distributions, Pensions and annuities, Unemployment compensation, Taxable social security and railroad retirement benefits, and Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. 1040 If you receive a capital gain distribution that includes unrecaptured section 1250 gain, section 1202 gain, or collectibles (28%) gain, you cannot use Form 1040A. 1040 You must use Form 1040. 1040 Your taxable income is less than $100,000. 1040 Your adjustments to income are for only the following items. 1040 Educator expenses. 1040 IRA deduction. 1040 Student loan interest deduction. 1040 Tuition and fees. 1040 You do not itemize your deductions. 1040 You claim only the following tax credits. 1040 The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 1040 (See chapter 32. 1040 ) The credit for the elderly or the disabled. 1040 (See chapter 33. 1040 ) The education credits. 1040 (See chapter 35. 1040 ) The retirement savings contribution credit. 1040 (See chapter 37. 1040 ) The child tax credit. 1040 (See chapter 34. 1040 ) The earned income credit. 1040 (See chapter 36. 1040 ) The additional child tax credit. 1040 (See chapter 34. 1040 ) You did not have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option. 1040 (See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income. 1040 ) You can also use Form 1040A if you received employer-provided dependent care benefits or if you owe tax from the recapture of an education credit or the alternative minimum tax. 1040 You must meet all these requirements to use Form 1040A. 1040 If you do not, you must use Form 1040. 1040 Form 1040 If you cannot use Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, you must use Form 1040. 1040 You can use Form 1040 to report all types of income, deductions, and credits. 1040 You may pay less tax by filing Form 1040 because you can take itemized deductions, some adjustments to income, and credits you cannot take on Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. 1040 You must use Form 1040 if any of the following apply. 1040 Your taxable income is $100,000 or more. 1040 You itemize your deductions on Schedule A. 1040 You had income that cannot be reported on Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, including tax-exempt interest from private activity bonds issued after August 7, 1986. 1040 You claim any adjustments to gross income other than the adjustments listed earlier under Form 1040A. 1040 Your Form W-2, box 12, shows uncollected employee tax (social security and Medicare tax) on tips (see chapter 6) or group-term life insurance (see chapter 5). 1040 You received $20 or more in tips in any 1 month and did not report all of them to your employer. 1040 (See chapter 6. 1040 ) You were a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico and exclude income from sources in Puerto Rico. 1040 You claim any credits other than the credits listed earlier under Form 1040A. 1040 You owe the excise tax on insider stock compensation from an expatriated corporation. 1040 Your Form W-2 shows an amount in box 12 with a code Z. 1040 You had a qualified health savings account funding distribution from your IRA. 1040 You are an employee and your employer did not withhold social security and Medicare tax. 1040 You have to file other forms with your return to report certain exclusions, taxes, or transactions, such as Form 8959 or Form 8960. 1040 You are a debtor in a bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005. 1040 You must repay the first-time homebuyer credit. 1040 You have adjusted gross income of more than $150,000 and must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions. 1040 Does My Return Have To Be on Paper? You may be able to file a paperless return using IRS e-file (electronic filing). 1040 If your 2013 adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than a certain amount, you are eligible for Free File. 1040 See your tax return instructions for details. 1040 If you do not qualify for Free File, then you should check out IRS. 1040 gov for low-cost e-file options or Free File Fillable Forms. 1040 IRS e-file Table 1-4 lists the benefits of IRS e-file. 1040 IRS e-file uses automation to replace most of the manual steps needed to process paper returns. 1040 As a result, the processing of e-file returns is faster and more accurate than the processing of paper returns. 1040 However, as with a paper return, you are responsible for making sure your return contains accurate information and is filed on time. 1040 Using e-file does not affect your chances of an IRS examination of your return. 1040 Free File Fillable Forms. 1040 If you do not need the help of a tax preparer, then Free File Fillable Forms may be for you. 1040 These forms: Do not have an income requirement so everyone is eligible, Are easy to use, Perform basic math calculations, Are available only at IRS. 1040 gov, and Apply only to a federal tax return. 1040 Electronic return signatures. 1040 To file your return electronically, you must sign the return electronically using a personal identification number (PIN). 1040 If you are filing online, you must use a Self-Select PIN. 1040 If you are filing electronically using a tax practitioner, you can use a Self-Select PIN or a Practitioner PIN. 1040 Self-Select PIN. 1040 The Self-Select PIN method allows you to create your own PIN. 1040 If you are married filing jointly, you and your spouse will each need to create a PIN and enter these PINs as your electronic signatures. 1040 A PIN is any combination of five digits you choose except five zeros. 1040 If you use a PIN, there is nothing to sign and nothing to mail—not even your Forms W-2. 1040 To verify your identity, you will be prompted to enter your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your originally filed 2012 federal income tax return, if applicable. 1040 Do not use your AGI from an amended return (Form 1040X) or a math error correction made by the IRS. 1040 AGI is the amount shown on your 2012 Form 1040, line 38; Form 1040A, line 22; or Form 1040EZ, line 4. 1040 If you do not have your 2012 income tax return, you can quickly request a transcript by using our automated self-service tool. 1040 Visit us at IRS. 1040 gov and click on Order a Return or Account Transcript or call 1-800-908-9946 to get a free transcript of your return. 1040 (If you filed electronically last year, you may use your prior year PIN to verify your identity instead of your prior year AGI. 1040 The prior year PIN is the five digit PIN you used to electronically sign your 2012 return. 1040 ) You will also be prompted to enter your date of birth. 1040 Table 1-4. 1040 Benefits of IRS e-file • Free File allows qualified taxpayers to prepare and e-file their own tax returns for free. 1040 • Free File is available in English and Spanish. 1040 • Free File is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1040 • Get your refund faster by e-filing using Direct Deposit. 1040 • Sign electronically with a secure self-selected PIN and file a completely paperless return. 1040 • Receive an acknowledgement that your return was received and accepted. 1040 • If you owe, you can e-file and pay electronically either online or by phone, using your bank account or a credit or debit card. 1040 You can also file a return early and pay the amount you owe by the due date of your return. 1040 • Save time by preparing and e-filing federal and state returns together. 1040 • IRS computers quickly and automatically check for errors or other missing information. 1040 • Help the environment, use less paper, and save taxpayer money—it costs less to process an e-filed return than a paper return. 1040 You cannot use the Self-Select PIN method if you are a first-time filer under age 16 at the end of 2013. 1040 If you cannot locate your prior year AGI or prior year PIN, use the Electronic Filing PIN Request. 1040 This can be found at IRS. 1040 gov. 1040 Click on Request an Electronic Filing PIN. 1040 Or you can call 1-866-704-7388. 1040 Practitioner PIN. 1040 The Practitioner PIN method allows you to authorize your tax practitioner to enter or generate your PIN. 1040 The practitioner can provide you with details. 1040 Form 8453. 1040 You must send in a paper Form 8453 if you have to attach certain forms or other documents that cannot be electronically filed. 1040 For details, see Form 8453. 1040 For more details, visit www. 1040 irs. 1040 gov/efile and click on “ Individuals. 1040 ” Identity Protection PIN. 1040 If the IRS gave you an identity protection personal identification number (PIN) because you were a victim of identity theft, enter it in the spaces provided on your tax form. 1040 If the IRS has not given you this type of number, leave these spaces blank. 1040 For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040A or Form 1040. 1040 Power of attorney. 1040 If an agent is signing your return for you, a power of attorney (POA) must be filed. 1040 Attach the POA to Form 8453 and file it using that form's instructions. 1040 See Signatures , later, for more information on POAs. 1040 State returns. 1040 In most states, you can file an electronic state return simultaneously with your federal return. 1040 For more information, check with your local IRS office, state tax agency, tax professional, or the IRS website at www. 1040 irs. 1040 gov/efile. 1040 Refunds. 1040 You can have a refund check mailed to you, or you can have your refund deposited directly to your checking or savings account or split among two or three accounts. 1040 With e-file, your refund will be issued faster than if you filed on paper. 1040 As with a paper return, you may not get all of your refund if you owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or certain other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. 1040 See Offset against debts under Refunds, later. 1040 Refund inquiries. 1040 Information about your return will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return. 1040 See Refund Information , later. 1040 Amount you owe. 1040 To avoid late-payment penalties and interest, pay your taxes in full by April 15, 2014. 1040 See How To Pay , later, for information on how to pay the amount you owe. 1040 Using Your Personal Computer You can file your tax return in a fast, easy, and convenient way using your personal computer. 1040 A computer with Internet access and tax preparation software are all you need. 1040 Best of all, you can e-file from the comfort of your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1040 IRS approved tax preparation software is available for online use on the Internet, for download from the Internet, and in retail stores. 1040 For information, visit www. 1040 irs. 1040 gov/efile. 1040 Through Employers and Financial Institutions Some businesses offer free e-file to their employees, members, or customers. 1040 Others offer it for a fee. 1040 Ask your employer or financial institution if they offer IRS e-file as an employee, member, or customer benefit. 1040 Free Help With Your Return Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-trained volunteers. 1040 The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low to moderate income taxpayers and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 or older with their tax returns. 1040 Many VITA sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about the credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. 1040 To find a site near you, call 1-800-906-9887. 1040 Or to find the nearest AARP TaxAide site, visit AARP's website at www. 1040 aarp. 1040 org/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. 1040 For more information on these programs, go to IRS. 1040 gov and enter keyword “VITA” in the search box. 1040 Using a Tax Professional Many tax professionals electronically file tax returns for their clients. 1040 You may personally enter your PIN or complete Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, to authorize the tax professional to enter your PIN on your return. 1040 Note. 1040 Tax professionals may charge a fee for IRS e-file. 1040 Fees can vary depending on the professional and the specific services rendered. 1040 When Do I Have To File? April 15, 2014, is the due date for filing your 2013 income tax return if you use the calendar year. 1040 For a quick view of due dates for filing a return with or without an extension of time to file (discussed later), see Table 1-5. 1040 Table 1-5. 1040 When To File Your 2013 Return For U. 1040 S. 1040 citizens and residents who file returns on a calendar year. 1040 For Most Taxpayers For Certain Taxpayers Outside the U. 1040 S. 1040 No extension requested April 15, 2014 June 16, 2014 Automatic extension October 15, 2014 October 15, 2014 If you use a fiscal year (a year ending on the last day of any month except December, or a 52-53-week year), your income tax return is due by the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of your fiscal year. 1040 When the due date for doing any act for tax purposes—filing a return, paying taxes, etc. 1040 —falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day. 1040 Filing paper returns on time. 1040 Your paper return is filed on time if it is mailed in an envelope that is properly addressed, has enough postage, and is postmarked by the due date. 1040 If you send your return by registered mail, the date of the registration is the postmark date. 1040 The registration is evidence that the return was delivered. 1040 If you send a return by certified mail and have your receipt postmarked by a postal employee, the date on the receipt is the postmark date. 1040 The postmarked certified mail receipt is evidence that the return was delivered. 1040 Private delivery services. 1040 If you use a private delivery service designated by the IRS to send your return, the postmark date generally is the date the private delivery service records in its database or marks on the mailing label. 1040 The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of this date. 1040 For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS. 1040 gov and enter “private delivery service” in the search box. 1040 The following are designated private delivery services. 1040 DHL Express (DHL): Same Day Service. 1040 Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First. 1040 United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A. 1040 M. 1040 , UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express. 1040 Filing electronic returns on time. 1040 If you use IRS e-file, your return is considered filed on time if the authorized electronic return transmitter postmarks the transmission by the due date. 1040 An authorized electronic return transmitter is a participant in the IRS e-file program that transmits electronic tax return information directly to the IRS. 1040 The electronic postmark is a record of when the authorized electronic return transmitter received the transmission of your electronically filed return on its host system. 1040 The date and time in your time zone controls whether your electronically filed return is timely. 1040 Filing late. 1040 If you do not file your return by the due date, you may have to pay a failure-to-file penalty and interest. 1040 For more information, see Penalties , later. 1040 Also see Interest under Amount You Owe. 1040 If you were due a refund but you did not file a return, you generally must file within 3 years from the date the return was due (including extensions) to get that refund. 1040 Nonresident alien. 1040 If you are a nonresident alien and earn wages subject to U. 1040 S. 1040 income tax withholding, your 2013 U. 1040 S. 1040 income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ) is due by: April 15, 2014, if you use a calendar year, or The 15th day of the 4th month after the end of your fiscal year if you use a fiscal year. 1040 If you do not earn wages subject to U. 1040 S. 1040 income tax withholding, your return is due by: June 16, 2014, if you use a calendar year, or The 15th day of the 6th month after the end of your fiscal year, if you use a fiscal year. 1040 See Publication 519 for more filing information. 1040 Filing for a decedent. 1040 If you must file a final income tax return for a taxpayer who died during the year (a decedent), the return is due by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the decedent's normal tax year. 1040 See Publication 559. 1040 Extensions of Time To File You may be able to get an extension of time to file your return. 1040 There are three types of situations where you may qualify for an extension: Automatic extensions, You are outside the United States, or You are serving in a combat zone. 1040 Automatic Extension If you cannot file your 2013 return by the due date, you may be able to get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file. 1040 Example. 1040 If your return is due on April 15, 2014, you will have until October 15, 2014, to file. 1040 If you do not pay the tax due by the regular due date (generally, April 15), you will owe interest. 1040 You may also be charged penalties, discussed later. 1040 How to get the automatic extension. 1040 You can get the automatic extension by: Using IRS e-file (electronic filing), or Filing a paper form. 1040 E-file options. 1040 There are two ways you can use e-file to get an extension of time to file. 1040 Complete Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U. 1040 S. 1040 Individual Income Tax Return, to use as a worksheet. 1040 If you think you may owe tax when you file your return, use Part II of the form to estimate your balance due. 1040 If you e-file Form 4868 to the IRS, do not also send a paper Form 4868. 1040 E-file using your personal computer or a tax professional. 1040 You can use a tax software package with your personal computer or a tax professional to file Form 4868 electronically. 1040 You will need to provide certain information from your tax return for 2012. 1040 If you wish to make a payment by direct transfer from your bank account, see Pay online , under How To Pay, later in this chapter. 1040 E-file and pay by credit or debit card or by direct transfer from your bank account. 1040 You can get an extension by paying part or all of your estimate of tax due by using a credit or debit card or by direct transfer from your bank account. 1040 You can do this by phone or over the Internet. 1040 You do not file Form 4868. 1040 See Pay online , under How To Pay, later in this chapter. 1040 Filing a paper Form 4868. 1040 You can get an extension of time to file by filing a paper Form 4868. 1040 Mail it to the address shown in the form instructions. 1040 If you want to make a payment with the form, make your check or money order payable to “United States Treasury. 1040 ” Write your SSN, daytime phone number, and “2013 Form 4868” on your check or money order. 1040 When to file. 1040 You must request the automatic extension by the due date for your return. 1040 You can file your return any time before the 6-month extension period ends. 1040 When you file your return. 1040 Enter any payment you made related to the extension of time to file on Form 1040, line 68. 1040 If you file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, include that payment in your total payments on Form 1040EZ, line 9, or Form 1040A, line 41. 1040 Also enter “Form 4868” and the amount paid in the space to the left of line 9 or line 41. 1040 Individuals Outside the United States You are allowed an automatic 2-month extension, without filing Form 4868, (until June 16, 2014, if you use the calendar year) to file your 2013 return and pay any federal income tax due if: You are a U. 1040 S. 1040 citizen or resident, and On the due date of your return: You are living outside the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico. 1040 However, if you pay the tax due after the regular due date (generally, April 15), interest will be charged from that date until the date the tax is paid. 1040 If you served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, you may be eligible for a longer extension of time to file. 1040 See Individuals Serving in Combat Zone , later, for special rules that apply to you. 1040 Married taxpayers. 1040 If you file a joint return, only one spouse has to qualify for this automatic extension. 1040 If you and your spouse file separate returns, this automatic extension applies only to the spouse who qualifies. 1040 How to get the extension. 1040 To use this automatic extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining what situation qualified you for the extension. 1040 (See the situations listed under (2), earlier. 1040 ) Extensions beyond 2 months. 1040 If you cannot file your return within the automatic 2-month extension period, you may be able to get an additional 4-month extension, for a total of 6 months. 1040 File Form 4868 and check the box on line 8. 1040 No further extension. 1040 An extension of more than 6 months will generally not be granted. 1040 However, if you are outside the United States and meet certain tests, you may be granted a longer extension. 1040 For more information, see When To File and Pay in Publication 54. 1040 Individuals Serving in Combat Zone The deadline for filing your tax return, paying any tax you may owe, and filing a claim for refund is automatically extended if you serve in a combat zone. 1040 This applies to members of the Armed Forces, as well as merchant marines serving aboard vessels under the operational control of the Department of Defense, Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents, and civilians under the direction of the Armed Forces in support of the Armed Forces. 1040 Combat zone. 1040 For purposes of the automatic extension, the term “combat zone” includes the following areas. 1040 The Arabian peninsula area, effective January 17, 1991. 1040 The Kosovo area, effective March 24, 1999. 1040 Afghanistan area, effective September 19, 2001. 1040 See Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for more detailed information on the locations comprising each combat zone. 1040 The publication also has information about other tax benefits available to military personnel serving in a combat zone. 1040 Extension period. 1040 The deadline for filing your return, paying any tax due, and filing a claim for refund is extended for at least 180 days after the later of: The last day you are in a combat zone or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone, or The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone. 1040 In addition to the 180 days, your deadline is also extended by the number of days you had left to take action with the IRS when you entered the combat zone. 1040 For example, you have 3½ months (January 1 – April 15) to file your tax return. 1040 Any days left in this period when you entered the combat zone (or the entire 3½ months if you entered it before the beginning of the year) are added to the 180 days. 1040 See Extension of Deadlines in Publication 3 for more information. 1040 The rules on the extension for filing your return also apply when you are deployed outside the United States (away from your permanent duty station) while participating in a designated contingency operation. 1040 How Do I Prepare My Return? This section explains how to get ready to fill in your tax return and when to report your income and expenses. 1040 It also explains how to complete certain sections of the form. 1040 You may find Table 1-6 helpful when you prepare your paper return. 1040 Table 1-6. 1040 Six Steps for Preparing Your Paper Return 1 — Get your records together for income and expenses. 1040 2 — Get the forms, schedules, and publications you need. 1040 3 — Fill in your return. 1040 4 — Check your return to make sure it is correct. 1040 5 — Sign and date your return. 1040 6 — Attach all required forms and schedules. 1040 Electronic returns. 1040 For information you may find useful in preparing a paperless return, see Does My Return Have To Be on Paper , earlier. 1040 Substitute tax forms. 1040 You cannot use your own version of a tax form unless it meets the requirements explained in Publication 1167, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms and Schedules. 1040 Form W-2. 1040 If you were an employee, you should receive Form W-2 from your employer. 1040 You will need the information from this form to prepare your return. 1040 See Form W-2 under Credit for Withholding and Estimated Tax in chapter 4. 1040 Your employer is required to provide or send Form W-2 to you no later than January 31, 2014. 1040 If it is mailed, you should allow adequate time to receive it before contacting your employer. 1040 If you still do not get the form by February 15, the IRS can help you by requesting the form from your employer. 1040 When you request IRS help, be prepared to provide the following information. 1040 Your name, address (including ZIP code), and phone number. 1040 Your SSN. 1040 Your dates of employment. 1040 Your employer's name, address (including ZIP code), and phone number. 1040 Form 1099. 1040 If you received certain types of income, you may receive a Form 1099. 1040 For example, if you received taxable interest of $10 or more, the payer is required to provide or send Form 1099 to you no later than January 31, 2014 (or by February 18, 2014, if furnished by a broker). 1040 If it is mailed, you should allow adequate time to receive it before contacting the payer. 1040 If you still do not get the form by February 18 (or by March 5, 2014, if furnished by a broker), call the IRS for help. 1040 When Do I Report My Income and Expenses? You must figure your taxable income on the basis of a tax year. 1040 A “tax year” is an annual accounting period used for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. 1040 You must account for your income and expenses in a way that clearly shows your taxable income. 1040 The way you do this is called an accounting method. 1040 This section explains which accounting periods and methods you can use. 1040 Accounting Periods Most individual tax returns cover a calendar year—the 12 months from January 1 through December 31. 1040 If you do not use a calendar year, your accounting period is a fiscal year. 1040 A regular fiscal year is a 12-month period that ends on the last day of any month except December. 1040 A 52-53-week fiscal year varies from 52 to 53 weeks and always ends on the same day of the week. 1040 You choose your accounting period (tax year) when you file your first income tax return. 1040 It cannot be longer than 12 months. 1040 More information. 1040 For more information on accounting periods, including how to change your accounting period, see Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods. 1040 Accounting Methods Your accounting method is the way you account for your income and expenses. 1040 Most taxpayers use either the cash method or an accrual method. 1040 You choose a method when you file your first income tax return. 1040 If you want to change your accounting method after that, you generally must get IRS approval. 1040 Cash method. 1040 If you use this method, report all items of income in the year in which you actually or constructively receive them. 1040 Generally, you deduct all expenses in the year you actually pay them. 1040 This is the method most individual taxpayers use. 1040 Constructive receipt. 1040 Generally, you constructively receive income when it is credited to your account or set apart in any way that makes it available to you. 1040 You do not need to have physical possession of it. 1040 For example, interest credited to your bank account on December 31, 2013, is taxable income to you in 2013 if you could have withdrawn it in 2013 (even if the amount is not entered in your records or withdrawn until 2014). 1040 Garnisheed wages. 1040 If your employer uses your wages to pay your debts, or if your wages are attached or garnisheed, the full amount is constructively received by you. 1040 You must include these wages in income for the year you would have received them. 1040 Debts paid for you. 1040 If another person cancels or pays your debts (but not as a gift or loan), you have constructively received the amount and generally must include it in your gross income for the year. 1040 See Canceled Debts in chapter 12 for more information. 1040 Payment to third party. 1040 If a third party is paid income from property you own, you have constructively received the income. 1040 It is the same as if you had actually received the income and paid it to the third party. 1040 Payment to an agent. 1040 Income an agent receives for you is income you constructively received in the year the agent receives it. 1040 If you indicate in a contract that your income is to be paid to another person, you must include the amount in your gross income when the other person receives it. 1040 Check received or available. 1040 A valid check that was made available to you before the end of the tax year is constructively received by you in that year. 1040 A check that was “made available to you” includes a check you have already received, but not cashed or deposited. 1040 It also includes, for example, your last paycheck of the year that your employer made available for you to pick up at the office before the end of the year. 1040 It is constructively received by you in that year whether or not you pick it up before the end of the year or wait to receive it by mail after the end of the year. 1040 No constructive receipt. 1040 There may be facts to show that you did not constructively receive income. 1040 Example. 1040 Alice Johnson, a teacher, agreed to her school board's condition that, in her absence, she would receive only the difference between her regular salary and the salary of a substitute teacher hired by the school board. 1040 Therefore, Alice did not constructively receive the amount by which her salary was reduced to pay the substitute teacher. 1040 Accrual method. 1040 If you use an accrual method, you generally report income when you earn it, rather than when you receive it. 1040 You generally deduct your expenses when you incur them, rather than when you pay them. 1040 Income paid in advance. 1040 An advance payment of income is generally included in gross income in the year you receive it. 1040 Your method of accounting does not matter as long as the income is available to you. 1040 An advance payment may include rent or interest you receive in advance and pay for services you will perform later. 1040 A limited deferral until the next tax year may be allowed for certain advance payments. 1040 See Publication 538 for specific information. 1040 Additional information. 1040 For more information on accounting methods, including how to change your accounting method, see Publication 538. 1040 Social Security Number (SSN) You must enter your SSN on your return. 1040 If you are married, enter the SSNs for both you and your spouse, whether you file jointly or separately. 1040 If you are filing a joint return, include the SSNs in the same order as the names. 1040 Use this same order in submitting other forms and documents to the IRS. 1040 Check that both the name and SSN on your Form 1040, W-2, and 1099 agree with your social security card. 1040 If they do not, certain deductions and credits on your Form 1040 may be reduced or disallowed and you may not receive credit for your social security earnings. 1040 If your Form W-2 shows an incorrect SSN or name, notify your employer or the form-issuing agent as soon as possible to make sure your earnings are credited to your social security record. 1040 If the name or SSN on your social security card is incorrect, call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. 1040 Name change. 1040 If you changed your name because of marriage, divorce, etc. 1040 , be sure to report the change to your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office before filing your return. 1040 This prevents delays in processing your return and issuing refunds. 1040 It also safeguards your future social security benefits. 1040 Dependent's SSN. 1040 You must provide the SSN of each dependent you claim, regardless of the dependent's age. 1040 This requirement applies to all dependents (not just your children) claimed on your tax return. 1040 Exception. 1040 If your child was born and died in 2013 and did not have an SSN, enter “DIED” in column (2) of line 6c (Form 1040 or 1040A) and include a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records. 1040 The document must show that the child was born alive. 1040 No SSN. 1040 File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with your local SSA office to get an SSN for yourself or your dependent. 1040 It usually takes about 2 weeks to get an SSN. 1040 If you or your dependent is not eligible for an SSN, see Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) , later. 1040 If you are a U. 1040 S. 1040 citizen or resident alien, you must show proof of age, identity, and citizenship or alien status with your Form SS-5. 1040 If you are 12 or older and have never been assigned an SSN, you must appear in person with this proof at an SSA office. 1040 Form SS-5 is available at any SSA office, on the Internet at www. 1040 socialsecurity. 1040 gov, or by calling 1-800-772-1213. 1040 If you have any questions about which documents you can use as proof of age, identity, or citizenship, contact your SSA office. 1040 If your dependent does not have an SSN by the time your return is due, you may want to ask for an extension of time to file, as explained earlier under When Do I Have To File . 1040 If you do not provide a required SSN or if you provide an incorrect SSN, your tax may be increased and any refund may be reduced. 1040 Adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). 1040 If you are in the process of adopting a child who is a U. 1040 S. 1040 citizen or resident and cannot get an SSN for the child until the adoption is final, you can apply for an ATIN to use instead of an SSN. 1040 File Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U. 1040 S. 1040 Adoptions, with the IRS to get an ATIN if all of the following are true. 1040 You have a child living with you who was placed in your home for legal adoption. 1040 You cannot get the child's existing SSN even though you have made a reasonable attempt to get it from the birth parents, the placement agency, and other persons. 1040 You cannot get an SSN for the child from the SSA because, for example, the adoption is not final. 1040 You are eligible to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return. 1040 After the adoption is final, you must apply for an SSN for the child. 1040 You cannot continue using the ATIN. 1040 See Form W-7A for more information. 1040 Nonresident alien spouse. 1040 If your spouse is a nonresident alien, your spouse must have either an SSN or an ITIN if: You file a joint return, You file a separate return and claim an exemption for your spouse, or Your spouse is filing a separate return. 1040 If your spouse is not eligible for an SSN, see the following discussion on ITINs. 1040 Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). 1040 The IRS will issue you an ITIN if you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get an SSN. 1040 This also applies to an alien spouse or dependent. 1040 To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS. 1040 It usually takes about 6 to 10 weeks to get an ITIN. 1040 Enter the ITIN on your tax return wherever an SSN is requested. 1040 If you are applying for an ITIN for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent in order to file your tax return, attach your completed tax return to your Form W-7. 1040 See the Form W-7 instructions for how and where to file. 1040 You cannot e-file a return using an ITIN in the calendar year the ITIN is issued; however, you can e-file returns in the following years. 1040 ITIN for tax use only. 1040 An ITIN is for tax use only. 1040 It does not entitle you or your dependent to social security benefits or change the employment or immigration status of either of you under U. 1040 S. 1040 law. 1040 Penalty for not providing social security number. 1040 If you do not include your SSN or the SSN of your spouse or dependent as required, you may have to pay a penalty. 1040 See the discussion on Penalties , later, for more information. 1040 SSN on correspondence. 1040 If you write to the IRS about your tax account, be sure to include your SSN (and the name and SSN of your spouse, if you filed a joint return) in your correspondence. 1040 Because your SSN is used to identify your account, this helps the IRS respond to your correspondence promptly. 1040 Presidential Election Campaign Fund This fund helps pay for Presidential election campaigns. 1040 If you want $3 to go to this fund, check the box. 1040 If you are filing a joint return, your spouse can also have $3 go to the fund. 1040 If you check a box, your tax or refund will not change. 1040 Computations The following information may be useful in making the return easier to complete. 1040 Rounding off dollars. 1040 You can round off cents to whole dollars on your return and schedules. 1040 If you do round to whole dollars, you must round all amounts. 1040 To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. 1040 For example, $1. 1040 39 becomes $1 and $2. 1040 50 becomes $3. 1040 If you have to add two or more amounts to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total. 1040 Example. 1040 You receive two Forms W-2: one showing wages of $5,000. 1040 55 and one showing wages of $18,500. 1040 73. 1040 On Form 1040, line 7, you would enter $23,501 ($5,000. 1040 55 + $18,500. 1040 73 = $23,501. 1040 28), not $23,502 ($5,001 + $18,501). 1040 Equal amounts. 1040 If you are asked to enter the smaller or larger of two equal amounts, enter that amount. 1040 Example. 1040 Line 1 is $500. 1040 Line 3 is $500. 1040 Line 5 asks you to enter the smaller of line 1 or 3. 1040 Enter $500 on line 5. 1040 Negative amounts. 1040 If you file a paper return and you need to enter a negative amount, put the amount in parentheses rather than using a minus sign. 1040 To combine positive and negative amounts, add all the positive amounts together and then subtract the negative amounts. 1040 Attachments Depending on the form you file and the items reported on your return, you may have to complete additional schedules and forms and attach them to your paper return. 1040 You may be able to file a paperless return using IRS e-file. 1040 There's nothing to attach or mail, not even your Forms W-2. 1040 See Does My Return Have To Be on Paper, earlier. 1040 Form W-2. 1040 Form W-2 is a statement from your employer of wages and other compensation paid to you and taxes withheld from your pay. 1040 You should have a Form W-2 from each employer. 1040 If you file a paper return, be sure to attach a copy of Form W-2 in the place indicated on the front page of your return. 1040 Attach it to the front page of your paper return, not to any attachments. 1040 For more information, see Form W-2 in chapter 4. 1040 If you received a Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. 1040 , showing federal income tax withheld, and you file a paper return, attach a copy of that form in the place indicated on the front page of your return. 1040 Form 1040EZ. 1040 There are no additional schedules to file with Form 1040EZ. 1040 Form 1040A. 1040 If you file a paper return, attach any forms and schedules behind Form 1040A in order of the “Attachment Sequence Number” shown in the upper right corner of the form or schedule. 1040 Then arrange all other statements or attachments in the same order as the forms and schedules they relate to and attach them last. 1040 Do not attach items unless required to do so. 1040 Form 1040. 1040 If you file a paper return, attach any forms and schedules behind Form 1040 in order of the “Attachment Sequence Number” shown in the upper right corner of the form or schedule. 1040 Then arrange all other statements or attachments in the same order as the forms and schedules they relate to and attach them last. 1040 Do not attach items unless required to do so. 1040 Third Party Designee You can authorize the IRS to discuss your return with your preparer, a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. 1040 If you check the “Yes” box in the Third party designee area of your 2013 tax return and provide the information required, you are authorizing: The IRS to call the designee to answer any questions that arise during the processing of your return, and The designee to: Give information that is missing from your return to the IRS, Call the IRS for information about th