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Www freetaxusa com Publication 17 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Reminders IntroductionIcons. Www freetaxusa com Ordering forms and publications. Www freetaxusa com Tax questions. Www freetaxusa com All material in this publication may be reprinted freely. Www freetaxusa com A citation to Your Federal Income Tax (2013) would be appropriate. Www freetaxusa com The explanations and examples in this publication reflect the interpretation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of: Tax laws enacted by Congress, Treasury regulations, and Court decisions. Www freetaxusa com However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning. Www freetaxusa com This publication covers some subjects on which a court may have made a decision more favorable to taxpayers than the interpretation by the IRS. Www freetaxusa com Until these differing interpretations are resolved by higher court decisions or in some other way, this publication will continue to present the interpretations by the IRS. Www freetaxusa com All taxpayers have important rights when working with the IRS. Www freetaxusa com These rights are described in Your Rights as a Taxpayer in the back of this publication. Www freetaxusa com What's New This section summarizes important tax changes that took effect in 2013. Www freetaxusa com Most of these changes are discussed in more detail throughout this publication. Www freetaxusa com Future developments. Www freetaxusa com  For the latest information about the tax law topics covered in this publication, including information about any tax legislation, go to www. Www freetaxusa com irs. Www freetaxusa com gov/pub17. Www freetaxusa com Additional Medicare Tax. Www freetaxusa com  Beginning in 2013, a 0. Www freetaxusa com 9% Additional Medicare Tax applies to Medicare wages, railroad retirement (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income that are more than: $125,000 if married filing separately, $250,000 if married filing jointly, or $200,000 for any other filing status. Www freetaxusa com See Form 8959 and its instructions. Www freetaxusa com Net Investment Income Tax. Www freetaxusa com  Beginning in 2013, you may be subject to Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). Www freetaxusa com The NIIT is 3. Www freetaxusa com 8% of the smaller of (a) your net investment income or (b) the excess of your modified adjusted gross income over: $125,000 if married filing separately, $250,000 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er), or $200,000 if any other filing status. Www freetaxusa com See Form 8960 and its instructions. Www freetaxusa com Change in tax rates. Www freetaxusa com  The highest tax rate is 39. Www freetaxusa com 6%. Www freetaxusa com For more information, see the 2013 Tax Computation Worksheet or the 2013 Tax Rate Schedules near the end of this publication. Www freetaxusa com Tax rate on net capital gain and qualified dividends. Www freetaxusa com  The maximum tax rate of 15% on net capital gain and qualified dividends has increased to 20% for some taxpayers. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 16. Www freetaxusa com Medical and dental expenses. Www freetaxusa com  You can deduct only the part of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 10% of your adjusted gross income (7. Www freetaxusa com 5% if either you or your spouse is age 65 or older). Www freetaxusa com See chapter 21. Www freetaxusa com Personal exemption amount increased for certain taxpayers. Www freetaxusa com  Your personal exemption is increased to $3,900. Www freetaxusa com But the amount is reduced if your adjusted gross income is more than: $150,000 if married filing separately, $250,000 if single, $275,000 if head of household, or $300,000 if any other filing status. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 3. Www freetaxusa com Limit on itemized deductions. Www freetaxusa com  You may not be able to deduct all of your itemized deductions if your adjusted gross income is more than: $150,000 if married filing separately, $250,000 if single, $275,000 if head of household, or $300,000 if any other filing status. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 29. Www freetaxusa com Same-sex marriages. Www freetaxusa com  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. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 2. Www freetaxusa com If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to file amended returns to change your filing status for some earlier years. Www freetaxusa com For details on filing amended returns, see chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). Www freetaxusa com  You cannot have more than $2,500 in salary reduction contributions made to a health FSA for plan years beginning after 2012. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 5. Www freetaxusa com Expiring credits. Www freetaxusa com  The plug-in electric vehicle credit and the refundable part of the credit for prior year minimum tax have expired. Www freetaxusa com You cannot claim either one on your 2013 return. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 37. Www freetaxusa com Ponzi-type investment schemes. Www freetaxusa com  There are new rules for how to claim a theft loss deduction on Form 4684 due to a Ponzi-type investment scheme. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 25. Www freetaxusa com Home office deduction simplified method. Www freetaxusa com  If you can take a home office deduction, you may be able to use a simplified method to figure it. Www freetaxusa com See Publication 587. Www freetaxusa com Standard mileage rates. Www freetaxusa com  The 2013 rate for business use of your car is increased to 56½ cents a mile. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 26. Www freetaxusa com The 2013 rate for use of your car to get medical care is increased to 24 cents a mile. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 21. Www freetaxusa com The 2013 rate for use of your car to move is increased to 24 cents a mile. Www freetaxusa com See Publication 521, Moving Expenses. Www freetaxusa com Reminders Listed below are important reminders and other items that may help you file your 2013 tax return. Www freetaxusa com Many of these items are explained in more detail later in this publication. Www freetaxusa com Enter your social security number (SSN). Www freetaxusa com  Enter your SSN in the space provided on your tax form. Www freetaxusa com If you filed a joint return for 2012 and are filing a joint return for 2013 with the same spouse, enter your names and SSNs in the same order as on your 2012 return. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Secure your tax records from identity theft. Www freetaxusa com  Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, SSN, or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. Www freetaxusa com An identity thief may use your SSN to get a job or may file a tax return using your SSN to receive a refund. Www freetaxusa com For more information about identity theft and how to reduce your risk from it, see chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Taxpayer identification numbers. Www freetaxusa com  You must provide the taxpayer identification number for each person for whom you claim certain tax benefits. Www freetaxusa com This applies even if the person was born in 2013. Www freetaxusa com Generally, this number is the person's social security number (SSN). Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Foreign source income. Www freetaxusa com  If you are a U. Www freetaxusa com S. Www freetaxusa com citizen with income from sources outside the United States (foreign income), you must report all such income on your tax return unless it is exempt by U. Www freetaxusa com S. Www freetaxusa com law. Www freetaxusa com This is true whether you live inside or outside the United States and whether or not you receive a Form W-2 or Form 1099 from the foreign payer. Www freetaxusa com This applies to earned income (such as wages and tips) as well as unearned income (such as interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, rents and royalties). Www freetaxusa com If you live outside the United States, you may be able to exclude part or all of your foreign source earned income. Www freetaxusa com For details, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Www freetaxusa com S. Www freetaxusa com Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Www freetaxusa com Foreign financial assets. Www freetaxusa com  If you had foreign financial assets in 2013, you may have to file Form 8938 with your return. Www freetaxusa com Check www. Www freetaxusa com IRS. Www freetaxusa com gov/form8938 for details. Www freetaxusa com Automatic 6-month extension to file tax return. Www freetaxusa com  You can use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U. Www freetaxusa com S. Www freetaxusa com Individual Income Tax Return, to obtain an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your tax return. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Include your phone number on your return. Www freetaxusa com  To promptly resolve any questions we have in processing your tax return, we would like to be able to call you. Www freetaxusa com Please enter your daytime telephone number on your tax form next to your signature and occupation. Www freetaxusa com If you are filing a joint return, you can enter either your or your spouse's daytime phone number. Www freetaxusa com Payment of taxes. Www freetaxusa com   You can pay your taxes online, by phone, or by check or money order. Www freetaxusa com You can make a direct transfer from your bank account or use a credit or debit card. Www freetaxusa com If you e-file, you can schedule an electronic payment. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Faster ways to file your return. Www freetaxusa com  The IRS offers fast, accurate ways to file your tax return information without filing a paper tax return. Www freetaxusa com You can use IRS e-file (electronic filing). Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Free electronic filing. Www freetaxusa com  You may be able to file your 2013 taxes online for free. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Change of address. Www freetaxusa com  If you change your address, you should notify the IRS. Www freetaxusa com See Change of Address in chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Refund on a late filed return. Www freetaxusa com  If you were due a refund but you did not file a return, you generally must file your return within 3 years from the date the return was due (including extensions) to get that refund. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Frivolous tax returns. Www freetaxusa com  The IRS has published a list of positions that are identified as frivolous. Www freetaxusa com The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Filing erroneous claim for refund or credit. Www freetaxusa com  You may have to pay a penalty if you file an erroneous claim for refund or credit. Www freetaxusa com See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa com Privacy Act and paperwork reduction information. Www freetaxusa com   The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 require that when we ask you for information we must first tell you what our legal right is to ask for the information, why we are asking for it, how it will be used, what could happen if we do not receive it, and whether your response is voluntary, required to obtain a benefit, or mandatory under the law. Www freetaxusa com A complete statement on this subject can be found in your tax form instructions. Www freetaxusa com Customer service for taxpayers. Www freetaxusa com  You can set up a personal appointment at the most convenient Taxpayer Assistance Center, on the most convenient business day. Www freetaxusa com See How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication. Www freetaxusa com Preparer e-file mandate. Www freetaxusa com  Most paid preparers must e-file returns they prepare and file. Www freetaxusa com Your preparer may make you aware of this requirement and the options available to you. Www freetaxusa com Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Www freetaxusa com   If you want to confidentially report misconduct, waste, fraud, or abuse by an IRS employee, you can call 1-800-366-4484 (call 1-800-877-8339 if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, and are using TTY/TDD equipment). Www freetaxusa com You can remain anonymous. Www freetaxusa com Photographs of missing children. Www freetaxusa com  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Www freetaxusa com Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Www freetaxusa com You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Www freetaxusa com Introduction This publication covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. Www freetaxusa com It supplements the information contained in your tax form instructions. Www freetaxusa com It explains the tax law to make sure you pay only the tax you owe and no more. Www freetaxusa com How this publication is arranged. Www freetaxusa com   This publication closely follows Form 1040, U. Www freetaxusa com S. Www freetaxusa com Individual Income Tax Return. Www freetaxusa com It is divided into six parts which cover different sections of Form 1040. Www freetaxusa com Each part is further divided into chapters which generally discuss one line of the form. Www freetaxusa com Do not worry if you file Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. Www freetaxusa com Anything included on a line of either of these forms is also included on Form 1040. Www freetaxusa com   The table of contents inside the front cover and the index in the back of the publication are useful tools to help you find the information you need. Www freetaxusa com What is in this publication. Www freetaxusa com   The publication begins with the rules for filing a tax return. Www freetaxusa com It explains: Who must file a return, Which tax form to use, When the return is due, How to e-file your return, and Other general information. Www freetaxusa com It will help you identify which filing status you qualify for, whether you can claim any dependents, and whether the income you receive is taxable. Www freetaxusa com The publication goes on to explain the standard deduction, the kinds of expenses you may be able to deduct, and the various kinds of credits you may be able to take to reduce your tax. Www freetaxusa com   Throughout the publication are examples showing how the tax law applies in typical situations. Www freetaxusa com Also throughout the publication are flowcharts and tables that present tax information in an easy-to-understand manner. Www freetaxusa com   Many of the subjects discussed in this publication are discussed in greater detail in other IRS publications. Www freetaxusa com References to those other publications are provided for your information. Www freetaxusa com Icons. Www freetaxusa com   Small graphic symbols, or icons, are used to draw your attention to special information. Www freetaxusa com See Table 1 later for an explanation of each icon used in this publication. Www freetaxusa com What is not covered in this publication. Www freetaxusa com   Some material that you may find helpful is not included in this publication but can be found in your tax form instruction booklet. Www freetaxusa com This includes lists of: Where to report certain items shown on information documents, and Recorded tax information topics (TeleTax). Www freetaxusa com   If you operate your own business or have other self-employment income, such as from babysitting or selling crafts, see the following publications for more information. Www freetaxusa com Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ). Www freetaxusa com Publication 535, Business Expenses. Www freetaxusa com Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers). Www freetaxusa com Help from the IRS. Www freetaxusa com   There are many ways you can get help from the IRS. Www freetaxusa com These are explained under How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication. Www freetaxusa com Comments and suggestions. Www freetaxusa com   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Www freetaxusa com   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Www freetaxusa com NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Www freetaxusa com Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Www freetaxusa com   You can send your comments from www. Www freetaxusa com irs. Www freetaxusa com gov/formspubs/. Www freetaxusa com Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications”. Www freetaxusa com   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Www freetaxusa com Ordering forms and publications. Www freetaxusa com   Visit www. Www freetaxusa com irs. Www freetaxusa com gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Www freetaxusa com Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Www freetaxusa com Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Www freetaxusa com   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Www freetaxusa com gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Www freetaxusa com We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Www freetaxusa com IRS mission. Www freetaxusa com   Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. Www freetaxusa com Table 1. Www freetaxusa com Legend of Icons Icon Explanation Items that may cause you particular problems, or an alert about pending legislation that may be enacted after this publication goes to print. Www freetaxusa com An Internet site or an email address. Www freetaxusa com An address you may need. Www freetaxusa com Items you should keep in your personal records. Www freetaxusa com Items you may need to figure or a worksheet you may need to complete and keep for your records. Www freetaxusa com An important phone number. Www freetaxusa com Helpful information you may need. Www freetaxusa com Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications