Figure your taxes and credits - Add up your sources of income, such as your salary, interest earned from your banking or investment accounts, and your pension or retirement-related accounts. Check to see if you are eligible for credits and deductions, including charitable contributions, education, and child care expenses.
Claim your dependents and exemptions - It's important to understand the rules on claiming dependents (a qualifying child or relative) and exemptions (deductions from you and your dependents' taxable income).
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began accepting and processing federal tax returns for tax year 2016 on January 23, 2017. The deadline to file federal taxes was April 18, 2017, unless you filed for an extension.
Federal and state taxes usually have the same filing deadlines. Find out the tax filing due dates in your state. If you do not file and pay your taxes on time, you will be charged interest and a late payment penalty. For taxpayers due a refund, there is no penalty for filing a late return.
If you are unable to file your federal income tax return by the due date, you may be able to get an extension from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But this does not grant you more time to pay your taxes.
IRS imposter scams occur when someone contacts you, pretending to work for the IRS. The imposter may contact you by phone, email, postal mail, or even a text message. There are two common types of scams:
Tax collection - You receive a phone call or letter, claiming that you owe taxes. They will demand that you pay the amount immediately, often with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may even threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay.
Verification - You receive an email or text message that requires you to verify your personal information. The message often includes a hyperlink phrase “click here” or a button to a fraudulent form or website.
Report IRS Imposter Scams
Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) if you believe that an IRS imposter has contacted you. Report IRS imposter scams online or by calling 1-800-366-4484. Forward email messages that claim to be from the IRS to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are things to look out for to prevent being a victim of an IRS imposter scam.
Beware if someone calls, claiming to be from the IRS. The IRS will always contact you by mail before calling you about unpaid taxes.
Ask a caller to provide their name and badge number, and callback number. Then call TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you. If the person legitimately is from the IRS, call them back. Otherwise report it to the IRS.
The Wage and Tax Statement, commonly known as a W-2 form, is an important document to have at tax time. This form shows the income you earned for the year and the taxes withheld from those earnings. If you have had several jobs over the year, you may have several W-2 forms to file your tax return. Employers must send you your W-2 by January 31 for the earnings from the previous calendar year of work.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides mailing addresses for tax returns, non-return forms, applications, and payments. The correct mailing address to use depends on the purpose of contact and the region of the country you are in:
Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) - A temporary nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are in the process of legally adopting a U.S. citizen or resident child, but who cannot get an SSN for that child in time to file their tax return.