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File tax return 1. File tax return   Definitions You Need To Know Table of Contents Other options. File tax return Exception. File tax return Certain terms used in this publication are defined below. File tax return The same term used in another publication may have a slightly different meaning. File tax return Annual additions. File tax return   Annual additions are the total of all your contributions in a year, employee contributions (not including rollovers), and forfeitures allocated to a participant's account. File tax return Annual benefits. File tax return   Annual benefits are the benefits to be paid yearly in the form of a straight life annuity (with no extra benefits) under a plan to which employees do not contribute and under which no rollover contributions are made. File tax return Business. File tax return   A business is an activity in which a profit motive is present and economic activity is involved. File tax return Service as a newspaper carrier under age 18 or as a public official is not a business. File tax return Common-law employee. File tax return   A common-law employee is any individual who, under common law, would have the status of an employee. File tax return A leased employee can also be a common-law employee. File tax return   A common-law employee is a person who performs services for an employer who has the right to control and direct the results of the work and the way in which it is done. File tax return For example, the employer: Provides the employee's tools, materials, and workplace, and Can fire the employee. File tax return   Common-law employees are not self-employed and cannot set up retirement plans for income from their work, even if that income is self-employment income for social security tax purposes. File tax return For example, common-law employees who are ministers, members of religious orders, full-time insurance salespeople, and U. File tax return S. File tax return citizens employed in the United States by foreign governments cannot set up retirement plans for their earnings from those employments, even though their earnings are treated as self-employment income. File tax return   However, an individual may be a common-law employee and a self-employed person as well. File tax return For example, an attorney can be a corporate common-law employee during regular working hours and also practice law in the evening as a self-employed person. File tax return In another example, a minister employed by a congregation for a salary is a common-law employee even though the salary is treated as self-employment income for social security tax purposes. File tax return However, fees reported on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business, for performing marriages, baptisms, and other personal services are self-employment earnings for qualified plan purposes. File tax return Compensation. File tax return   Compensation for plan allocations is the pay a participant received from you for personal services for a year. File tax return You can generally define compensation as including all the following payments. File tax return Wages and salaries. File tax return Fees for professional services. File tax return Other amounts received (cash or noncash) for personal services actually rendered by an employee, including, but not limited to, the following items. File tax return Commissions and tips. File tax return Fringe benefits. File tax return Bonuses. File tax return   For a self-employed individual, compensation means the earned income, discussed later, of that individual. File tax return   Compensation generally includes amounts deferred in the following employee benefit plans. File tax return These amounts are elective deferrals. File tax return Qualified cash or deferred arrangement (section 401(k) plan). File tax return Salary reduction agreement to contribute to a tax-sheltered annuity (section 403(b) plan), a SIMPLE IRA plan, or a SARSEP. File tax return Section 457 nonqualified deferred compensation plan. File tax return Section 125 cafeteria plan. File tax return   However, an employer can choose to exclude elective deferrals under the above plans from the definition of compensation. File tax return The limit on elective deferrals is discussed in chapter 2 under Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension (SARSEP) and in chapter 4. File tax return Other options. File tax return   In figuring the compensation of a participant, you can treat any of the following amounts as the employee's compensation. File tax return The employee's wages as defined for income tax withholding purposes. File tax return The employee's wages you report in box 1 of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. File tax return The employee's social security wages (including elective deferrals). File tax return   Compensation generally cannot include either of the following items. File tax return Nontaxable reimbursements or other expense allowances. File tax return Deferred compensation (other than elective deferrals). File tax return SIMPLE plans. File tax return   A special definition of compensation applies for SIMPLE plans. File tax return See chapter 3. File tax return Contribution. File tax return   A contribution is an amount you pay into a plan for all those participating in the plan, including self-employed individuals. File tax return Limits apply to how much, under the contribution formula of the plan, can be contributed each year for a participant. File tax return Deduction. File tax return   A deduction is the plan contributions you can subtract from gross income on your federal income tax return. File tax return Limits apply to the amount deductible. File tax return Earned income. File tax return   Earned income is net earnings from self-employment, discussed later, from a business in which your services materially helped to produce the income. File tax return   You can also have earned income from property your personal efforts helped create, such as royalties from your books or inventions. File tax return Earned income includes net earnings from selling or otherwise disposing of the property, but it does not include capital gains. File tax return It includes income from licensing the use of property other than goodwill. File tax return   Earned income includes amounts received for services by self-employed members of recognized religious sects opposed to social security benefits who are exempt from self-employment tax. File tax return   If you have more than one business, but only one has a retirement plan, only the earned income from that business is considered for that plan. File tax return Employer. File tax return   An employer is generally any person for whom an individual performs or did perform any service, of whatever nature, as an employee. File tax return A sole proprietor is treated as his or her own employer for retirement plan purposes. File tax return However, a partner is not an employer for retirement plan purposes. File tax return Instead, the partnership is treated as the employer of each partner. File tax return Highly compensated employee. File tax return   A highly compensated employee is an individual who: Owned more than 5% of the interest in your business at any time during the year or the preceding year, regardless of how much compensation that person earned or received, or For the preceding year, received compensation from you of more than $115,000 (if the preceding year is 2012, 2013, or 2014) and, if you so choose, was in the top 20% of employees when ranked by compensation. File tax return Leased employee. File tax return   A leased employee who is not your common-law employee must generally be treated as your employee for retirement plan purposes if he or she does all the following. File tax return Provides services to you under an agreement between you and a leasing organization. File tax return Has performed services for you (or for you and related persons) substantially full time for at least 1 year. File tax return Performs services under your primary direction or control. File tax return Exception. File tax return   A leased employee is not treated as your employee if all the following conditions are met. File tax return Leased employees are not more than 20% of your non-highly compensated work force. File tax return The employee is covered under the leasing organization's qualified pension plan. File tax return The leasing organization's plan is a money purchase pension plan that has all the following provisions. File tax return Immediate participation. File tax return (This requirement does not apply to any individual whose compensation from the leasing organization in each plan year during the 4-year period ending with the plan year is less than $1,000. File tax return ) Full and immediate vesting. File tax return A nonintegrated employer contribution rate of at least 10% of compensation for each participant. File tax return However, if the leased employee is your common-law employee, that employee will be your employee for all purposes, regardless of any pension plan of the leasing organization. File tax return Net earnings from self-employment. File tax return   For SEP and qualified plans, net earnings from self-employment is your gross income from your trade or business (provided your personal services are a material income-producing factor) minus allowable business deductions. File tax return Allowable deductions include contributions to SEP and qualified plans for common-law employees and the deduction allowed for the deductible part of your self-employment tax. File tax return   Net earnings from self-employment does not include items excluded from gross income (or their related deductions) other than foreign earned income and foreign housing cost amounts. File tax return   For the deduction limits, earned income is net earnings for personal services actually rendered to the business. File tax return You take into account the income tax deduction for the deductible part of self-employment tax and the deduction for contributions to the plan made on your behalf when figuring net earnings. File tax return   Net earnings include a partner's distributive share of partnership income or loss (other than separately stated items, such as capital gains and losses). File tax return It does not include income passed through to shareholders of S corporations. File tax return Guaranteed payments to limited partners are net earnings from self-employment if they are paid for services to or for the partnership. File tax return Distributions of other income or loss to limited partners are not net earnings from self-employment. File tax return   For SIMPLE plans, net earnings from self-employment is the amount on line 4 of Short Schedule SE or line 6 of Long Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax, before subtracting any contributions made to the SIMPLE plan for yourself. File tax return Qualified plan. File tax return   A qualified plan is a retirement plan that offers a tax-favored way to save for retirement. File tax return You can deduct contributions made to the plan for your employees. File tax return Earnings on these contributions are generally tax free until distributed at retirement. File tax return Profit-sharing, money purchase, and defined benefit plans are qualified plans. File tax return A 401(k) plan is also a qualified plan. File tax return Participant. File tax return   A participant is an eligible employee who is covered by your retirement plan. File tax return See the discussions of the different types of plans for the definition of an employee eligible to participate in each type of plan. File tax return Partner. File tax return   A partner is an individual who shares ownership of an unincorporated trade or business with one or more persons. File tax return For retirement plans, a partner is treated as an employee of the partnership. File tax return Self-employed individual. File tax return   An individual in business for himself or herself, and whose business is not incorporated, is self-employed. File tax return Sole proprietors and partners are self-employed. File tax return Self-employment can include part-time work. File tax return   Not everyone who has net earnings from self-employment for social security tax purposes is self-employed for qualified plan purposes. File tax return See Common-law employee and Net earnings from self-employment , earlier. File tax return   In addition, certain fishermen may be considered self-employed for setting up a qualified plan. File tax return See Publication 595, Capital Construction Fund for Commercial Fishermen, for the special rules used to determine whether fishermen are self-employed. File tax return Sole proprietor. File tax return   A sole proprietor is an individual who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself, including a single member limited liability company that is treated as a disregarded entity for tax purposes. File tax return For retirement plans, a sole proprietor is treated as both an employer and an employee. File tax return Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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ARRA and HIRE Act Bond Guidance

IRS Invites Public to Comment on TEDB Allocation Process and Also Announces a 3-Month Extension to Issue Unexpired TEDB Allocations
The IRS seeks public comment on the reallocation of available amounts of volume cap for Tribal Economic Development Bonds in order to facilitate issuance by Indian tribal governments. Additionally, Indian tribal governments with unexpired volume cap allocations may request a three-month optional extension.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Center
Update on the new economic stimulus legislation.

IRS Releases Guidance on ARRA Bond Provisions
The latest guidance, forms and information on bond provisions enacted by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.

IRS Announces Tribal Economic Development Bonds Allocations
The IRS has announced the allocation, in two tranches, of $2 billion of volume cap to tribal governments under the new TEDBs program.

IRS Releases Guidance on HIRE Bond Provisions
The Service announced that Notice 2010-35 has been released. The Notice provides guidance for the new Federal refundable tax credit subsidy option (direct pay subsidy option) allowed by the enactment of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act) on March 18, 2010. The Notice is also intended to quickly enable issuers to begin issuing these bonds for qualified purposes.

The Service Announces the Release of New and Revised Tax Exempt Bond Forms
The IRS announced that new Form 8038-TC and revised Forms 8038-CP, 8038, and 8038-G have been issued.

Application of the Treasury Offset Program to Payments to Issuers of Direct Pay Bonds
Information on the application of the Treasury Offset Program (TOPS) as it relates to subsidy payments made to issuers of direct pay bonds.

Tax Exempt Bonds Compliance Check Questionnaire on Direct Pay Bonds (February 2010)
The Tax Exempt Bonds office of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities division of the IRS conducted a compliance check questionnaire to evaluate the issuance and record retention policies, procedures and practices of issuers of direct pay build America bonds.

TIGTA Audit Report Finds BABs Payment Processing is Timely and Accurate
TIGTA finds initial build America bond subsidy payments were processed accurately and timely.

TIGTA Finds that Compliance Check Questionnaires by TEB were Appropriate
The compliance check questionnaires issued by the TEB office were appropriate for identifying indications of a high risk of potential noncompliance for BABs and were not examinations.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 26-Mar-2014

The File Tax Return

File tax return Publication 51 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications