Income Tax Return Filing 101

By: Glenn McDonald


The month of April rolls around and most of America is getting ready to prepare their income tax returns.

Every year everyone who made an income are required to report income to the federal and state governments by filing an income tax return. Taxpayers must file two separate income tax returns. One income tax return goes to the federal government and the other goes to the state government that the taxpayer lives in. Most of taxpaying Americans are able to fill out a Form 1040A: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. People that do not have any children or qualified dependents are able to file a federal 1040EZ form. This form is also known as the Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents. The 1040EZ is basically a shorter version of the 1040A form; however, taxpayers must meet certain requirements before filing a 1040EZ form.

IRS e-file is fast becoming extremely popular with taxpayers as well. Find everything electronic in one place at irs.gov. This includes filing information,how to pay electronically, and more.According to the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which is found at irs.gov. Seventy percent of the nation's taxpayers are eligible for free tax preparation software and free electronic filing. See if you are eligible, by visiting their site. This year new tax relief provisions apply to individuals and businesses affected by the hurricane season.

Most of taxpayers will have the income tax forms they need mailed to their home address. This option, to have federal income tax forms mailed to a taxpayer is given on the previous year’s tax forms. People who do not wish to receive federal income tax forms but do need them can get the forms from a number of sources. Many paper forms are available for pickup at many local post offices, banks, and libraries. Taxpayers can also visit the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which is found at irs.gov. The Internal Revenue Service has a collection of federal income tax forms that can be downloaded and printed at their web-site.

In some states a taxpayer reports their income earned to their state government. They will also have to fill out a separate state tax return form. Each state has their own income tax return forms, and Laws. The form numbers will all be different because they vary from state to state; however, some forms will have the same heading. It is not uncommon for a state income tax form to be known as the Resident Income Tax Return. As with federal income tax returns, the majority of states have a long income tax return form and a short one. Taxpayers who are able to fill out and file a short state income tax return are encouraged to do so because it saves many taxpayers a large amount of tax preparation time. As with most federal income tax forms, state tax return individuals are likely to have a packet of state income tax forms mailed directly to their home. It is also possible for taxpayers to find their state tax forms at their local post office, financial institution, or library. Check your own State Laws for the details.

In addition to the regular taxpaying individual, there are several others who have to report and possibly pay an income tax. All businesses and estate properties of an individual who has passed on are subject to an income tax. A small business owner or the executor of an estate property will have to file different federal and state income tax forms than the traditional taxpayer. These forms can be obtained at the same places where standard federal and state forms are available.

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