Tax Forms Tips

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What are some IRS forms?

IRS Forms

Not all IRS forms are used to report taxes on. Some are used by employers, some by individuals, and other entities. The purpose of this assortment of IRS forms is for informational purposes. They are needed in order for taxpayers to obtain information that is specific to his or her circumstance. In other words, they gather information that is used to calculate income taxes. No tax figures are actually involved on these IRS forms. For instance, the W-4 is an IRS form that is used to obtain taxpayer information about withholding amounts. Other popular IRS information forms are the following:

Form I-9. Known as the Employment Eligibility Verification form, this needs to be filled out by each new employee to verify their ability to be employed within the United States. It requires forms of identification to verify the person filling it out is actually who they claim they are. Each employer needs to have one of these forms on hand for each employee.

Form W-9. Titled ‘Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification', this IRS form is mostly commonly used by independent contractors, or self employed individuals, to release information to paying customers. This information is needed in order to process payment. For instance, every time a self-employed musician has a scheduled gig, the place they are playing at will need a W-9 for their records. The musician will fill it out, sign it, and return it to the administrative office of the gig site. Then, the W-9 will be used as backup for the check processing (or payment) by the organization. Many entities require having signed W-9s on file for all independent contractors they pay. The W-9 contains the independent contractor's name, address, and taxpayer identification number. It, in turn, will be used at year end to prepare a 1099 (an IRS tax form).

SS-4. Titled ‘Application for Employer Identification Number', this is one of the most requested IRS forms. There is no tax information on it. If you operate a business, or have changes in one, you will need to file an IRS Form SS-4. It contains your name, address, social security number, reason for application, and your form of operation (sole proprietor, LLC, etc.).

For ideas about the vast array of IRS form, visit the IRS website. You can download, print, and order forms from this site.

You can also order these forms by calling the IRS at 1-800-FORM.

   
What is Form 1099?

FORM 1099

Whenever you receive income from sources other than your wages, you will receive an IRS Form 1099. Taxes have not been withheld from this income. Therefore, you are responsible for paying all the taxes on any income submitted to you on the IRS Form 1099. Form 1099 is considered a series, since there are many forms applicable to it. This tax form has a suffix specifically designated to the form/type of income. For instance, 1099-MISC is for miscellaneous income that cannot be categorized into other 1099 categories for income tax reporting purposes. Examples of miscellaneous income include: self employment income, royalty income, and some prize receipts.

Here are some other 1099 forms with their specific use that you may receive:

1099-INT interest

1099-D dividends

1099-B stock & bond sales

1099-R IRA distributions, pensions, annuities

1099-G unemployment compensation

You can see from the above why the Form 1099 series is known as that. There are many subcategories contained within it.

Know that you do not have to attach copies of your 1099 to your 2006 income tax return. The IRS does receive copies of the forms, though. They are sent by the person who paid you money.

   
What are some employee tax forms?

Important Employee Forms

If you are an employee, there are two IRS tax forms that are particularly important to you. They are the W-4 and the W-2.

The W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) is an informational IRS form that you need to fill out when you work as an employee. This is the form contains the amount of withholding allowances you claim. It also contains whether or not you want any additional amounts withheld from your paycheck. It can be updated throughout the year with your employer as your circumstance changes. However, every time you need to change information on your W-4, you need to fill out a new one. This tax form will become part of your employer's payroll department.

The W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) is the tax form your employer prepares and sends to you by January 31, 2007. It contains information you need to fill out your Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ income tax return. Information contained on your W-2 includes:

  • your total wages
  • any social security withheld
  • any Medicare withheld
  • federal income tax withheld
  • state income tax withheld
  • your social security number
  • your name and address
  • your employer's contact information
  • tax year
You need to attach the ‘Federal copy' of your W-2 to your 1040 when you file your 2006 income tax return with the IRS.

   
What is a Form W-9?

Form W-9 - Request for Taxpayer ID

Form W-9. Titled ‘Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification'. This IRS form is mostly commonly used by independent contractors, or self employed individuals, to release information to paying customers. It also is requested from payers prior to making payment. Many firms require this tax information form to be on hand as back-up for their accounts payable process.

This information from this IRS form is needed in order to process payment. For instance, every time a self-employed musician has a scheduled gig, the place they are playing at will need a W-9 for their records. The musician will fill it out, sign it, and return it to the administrative office of the gig site. Then, the W-9 will be used as backup for the check processing (or payment) by the organization. Many entities require having signed W-9s on file for all independent contractors they pay. The W-9 contains the independent contractor's name, address, and taxpayer identification number. It, in turn, will be used at year end to prepare a 1099 (an IRS tax form).

   
What form is used for change of address?

Change of Address Form

It is important to keep your address current with the IRS. Your listed address is the one that will be used to mail your tax refund check to (unless you are receiving your refund via direct deposit). If you are planning on receiving a refund, also notify the IRS of your old address. That way nothing will be left untouched. Every year thousands of income tax refunds are returned to the IRS due to improper addresses. Do not let that happen to you. Also, your address will be used by the IRS in any communication done with them.

Use IRS Form 8822 (Change of Address) to report your new address. Be sure to include your social security number in your communication.

You also can visit the IRS website and change your address online.

   
How do I know what federal tax form to use?

Selecting the Correct Tax Form

When it comes time to file taxes for 2005, it all boils down to just three essential federal tax forms: the 1040EZ, the 1040A, and the 1040. The IRS recommends using the simplest form you qualify for to reduce the likelihood of errors that could result in you paying higher taxes or a delay when you file taxes. While each of the federal tax forms has its own criteria for use, the 1040EZ is usually appropriate for people who don't claim dependents and have taxable income below $100,000. The 1040A is used most often by people with dependents and more than $100,000 in taxable income. And the 1040 is suited to those with more than $100,000 in taxable income or anyone who wishes to itemize deductions rather than take the standard deduction.

   
Can I use IRS Form 1040EZ to file my taxes?

Qualifying to Use IRS Form 1040EZ

The IRS tax forms have a reputation for being confusing, frustrating, and downright nasty to fill out. However, if you qualify, the 1040EZ could solve all those headaches when it comes time to file taxes. Is your taxable income less than $100,000? Is your filing status single or married filing jointly? Are you under the age of 65? Are you NOT claiming any dependents? Is your interest income $1,500 or less? If you answer, “Yes,” to these questions, you probably qualify to use the 1040EZ to file taxes.

   
Can I use IRS Form 1040A to file my taxes?

Qualifying to Use IRS Form 1040A

When it comes time to choosing from among the three main federal income tax forms, there are two main differences between the 1040A and the 1040 tax return forms: deductions and income level. If your taxable income is below $100,000 and you plan to take the standard deduction rather than itemize, then the 1040A is probably best suited to your needs. If you are preparing your own taxes using tax software, the software will actually determine which form to use. Likewise, if you are using a tax professional to prepare your taxes, he or she will determine which of the tax return forms is better for your purposes.

   
Where can I get state tax forms?

Obtaining State Tax Forms

If you live in a state that has an income tax, there are a couple of ways you can get the necessary state income tax forms. If you prepare your own taxes using one of the popular tax software programs, you should make sure you get one that includes the state tax forms. Using the state income tax feature, you can prepare and print out your state tax forms. The software may even include an option to electronically file your state tax forms. You can also visit the Federation of Tax Administrators Web site, click on “Links,” and “State Tax Forms.” An interactive map will display on which you can click on your state and be delivered to your state's tax form download site.

   
Can I order or download tax forms from the IRS?

Ordering or Downloading Federal Tax Forms

The IRS Web site has many helpful tax tips to guide you through your 2005 filing. If you didn't receive your IRS tax package in the mail, you can go to IRS.gov to download any federal tax forms you need. You'll need to print out the forms, which can be a lengthy process. One trick is to just print out the actual forms and not the endless ream of pages that include instructions for how to complete the form. If you save the download to your hard drive, you can open the document as often as you need and refer to the instructions on your computer screen. You can also order hardcopy federal tax forms to be delivered to you by mail at IRS.gov.

   
Where can I get federal tax forms?

Obtaining Federal Tax Forms

IRS tax forms are easier than ever to get your hands on these days. The IRS will mail packages, including a range of tax forms, to nearly 18 million people this year. If you don't get one in the mail by the end of January, check your local post office or office supply store. Many of them stock the most common free tax forms. If you're Internet savvy, you can also go to IRS.gov to download tax forms for any need.

   
Where can I get state tax forms?

IRS Tax Packages

The IRS does indeed still mail out tax packages. The packages, which will go out to an estimated 17.7 million tax filers at a cost of approximately $11.1 million, including printing and postage, include the most common federal income tax forms. They do not, however, include any state tax forms. If you are going to get an IRS Tax package, you should expect to see it in your mailbox by the mid- to late-January each year.

   
Should I use IRS Form 1040 to file my taxes?

Qualifying to Use IRS Form 1040

If you are wondering which of the federal tax forms you should use to file taxes this year, ask yourself a few questions. Is my taxable income $100,000 or more? Will I be itemizing my deductions? Will I be claiming any dependents? Will I be reporting self-employment income? If you answer, “Yes,” to one or more of these questions, chances are you need to use IRS Form 1040 to file your taxes. For more detail on which tax form to use, visit IRS.gov and read Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. It's loaded with guidance on all of the three federal tax forms as well as tons of other tax tips.

   
What are some payroll tax forms?

Payroll Tax Forms

If you have any employees, even if only one person, you need to withhold payroll taxes from his or her paycheck. Payroll taxes you need to withhold include: federal income tax, state income tax (if any), social security tax, and Medicare tax. Social security and Medicare tax combined is known as FICA. You also need to pay your share of federal unemployment taxes. Here are some the forms involved in the payroll field when you have employees:

Form 8109-B. Federal Tax Deposit Coupon will be used by you monthly to pay the IRS the amount of federal taxes you withheld from your employees paychecks. These coupons must be included with each deposit you make.

940 – Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return. This is the IRS tax form you use to report and pay the total amount you need to pay into the federal unemployment tax (FUTA) system.

940-EZ. This IRS form is a shortened version of the 940. You can use it if the following situations are met: you have not hired a household employee to work in your private home, your business only uses FUTA to one state, all your state unemployment taxes were paid by January 31, 2007, and all FUTA paid was the same amount

941- Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. This IRS form will be used by you to report and pay your (employer) share of the federal and FICA taxes withheld from your payroll. This form will contain the total wages you paid for the quarter, the number of employees, deposit amounts made throughout the month, and your tax amount due. This tax amount due will be decreased by the deposits you have made each month. Hopefully, this balance is close to zero. (If your recordkeeping is up to par, there will be no balance due on their tax return.)

941 – Payment Voucher. This is the IRS Form you use to pay your quarterly tax amount due (if any).

W-2. Wage & Tax Statement. This is the IRS tax form that reports the wages paid to employees. (Described in Employee Form tip)

W-4. Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. (Described in Employee Forms tip)

I-9. Employment Eligibility Verification. (Described in IRS Form section)

   
Where do I send my tax forms once I’m done preparing them?

Submitting Tax Forms

Congratulations! You're (almost) done with your taxes! When it comes time to file your taxes, where you send your tax forms depends on what method you used to prepare them. If you used hardcopy forms, you should first make a complete copy of all your forms and schedules for your files. Then, check in the instruction manual for mailing instructions. There are different tax return processing centers throughout the U.S., so make sure you mail to the correct center for your location. If you don't have your instruction booklet handy, you can check online at IRS.gov for the mailing address of the center that serves your state. If you used tax software, you have the option to file your tax return electronically or print it out and mail it. If you choose to print it out, the correct mailing address should print on the top page. To file electronically, simply follow the prompts at the end of the tax preparation process. Whether you file electronically or mail it, remember to save a PDF version of your completed return to your computer hard drive. Knowing how flaky technology can be, it's probably a good idea to also print out at least one hardcopy of your completed return and all schedules for your paper files.

   
What are some IRS tax forms?

IRS Tax Forms

An IRS tax form is specifically used to report and pay taxes to the IRS. They are different from IRS forms since the tax forms contain actual information (figures) in dollar form. The figures on your IRS tax forms, therefore, are eventually transferred over to your IRS tax return. This usually happens at the end of your form where it states, ‘Enter on Line __ of Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ'. There are, of course, a multitude of tax forms available for taxpayers to use for the 2006 tax year. Ranging from business related to individual related, there is something for every need as it relates to taxation.

The most popular IRS tax form are the 1040 series. The IRS Form 1040 is the tax form used for individual taxpayers reporting their annual income and expenses to the IRS. Depending upon your situation, you may use a variation of 1040 such as 1040A, or Form 1040EZ. Those are the three most frequently used and requested IRS tax forms year after year.

Other frequently requested tax forms include:

Schedule C – for self employed individuals/business owners

1040Tax Rate Tables (used to calculate amount of income taxes due)

W-3 – Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements. This is considered the cover letter for the batch of W-2 you will be sending the IRS if you have a lot of employees. It contains the total amount of taxes due, total withheld for federal taxes, social security, medicare, your name, address, and federal identification number.

1041-Estate and Taxes. You will use this IRS tax form for reporting your estate transactions, of course.

Form 990 – Nonprofit Organizations. Nonprofits use this form to report transactions that affect them throughout the 2006 year.

Form 2441 – Child and Dependent Care Expenses. Of course, this is the IRS tax form you will use to claim any child and dependent care expenses that apply to you.

Schedule EIC – Earned Income Credit. Use this form to claim the amount as your Earned Income Credit.

Schedule R – Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. If you have any dependents who are elderly and/or disabled, you will use this IRS tax form to claim the amount.

Schedule H – Household Employment Taxes. If you employed anyone to take care of your household activities, use this form.

These are just a few of the most requested IRS 2006 tax form.

   
What is a EIN?

Employer Identification Number Form

The IRS needs every taxpayer to have a number that specifically applies to him or her. This is how any form of IRS communication is processed, or any tax form is processed.

The IRS Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identifying Number) is used if you want to obtain an Employer Identification Number. In technical lingo, the Employer Identification Number is also known as the EIN. It is your tax id number.

You can obtain the SS-4 form either online at the IRS website or by filling out the SS-4 paper tax form. Of course, if you file for this number electronically, you will receive your identifying number quicker.

For either method of application you choose for your EIN, you will need to have the following information on hand.

  • Your name
  • Your business name if you operate as a DBA (doing business as)
  • Your business address
  • Your form of ownership (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, corporation). This is also called the ‘type of entity'.
  • Reason for applying: Change type of organization (sole proprietor to LLC, i.e.), you hired employees, and/or you started a business
  • Date the business started.
Once you have obtained your EIN, you will use it on any income tax return you file with the IRS. You also will use it anytime you need to contact the IRS. For more information on the EIN application process and how it affects you, visit the IRS website.

If you have hired someone to perform household duties, and pay them more than $1,500 in 2006, you need an EIN. You are considered an employer and need to withhold payroll taxes. You will have tax filing and

   
What is an IRS Tax Form Instruction?

IRS Tax Form Instructions

With every tax form comes instructions. Published by the IRS, they are meant to provide taxpayers and tax preparers with insight into the current IRS tax law. These insights consist of tax law changes, how to properly report transactions, exceptions to the rule (there are usually these!), and what qualifies for various rules.

IRS Tax Form instructions are shorter in length than the IRS Publications, in case you wonder. The Instructions are usually found at the bottom of the applicable IRS tax or IRS informational form. Here, one will find a breakdown of what is to go on each line, and why.

IRS Instructions help taxpayers understand why the individual IRS tax form is applicable to them. It will describe what situations it applies to, what situations do not apply to it, and if it is the form for you.

In short, an IRS Tax Form Instruction is a way for you to learn about the individual IRS tax forms.

You can be assured of filing the correct income tax form by reading the IRS Instructions that apply to it. You also will learn how to correctly fill out the IRS form this way.

   
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