Taxpayers can get the most out of new recovery tax breaks and get a jump on preparing their 2009 federal income tax returns by consulting a newly revised comprehensive tax guide now available on IRS.gov.
Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, features details on taking advantage of new tax-saving opportunities, such as the making work pay credit for most workers, American opportunity credit for parents and college students, energy credits for homeowners going green, first-time homebuyer credit, sales or excise tax deduction for new car buyers, and the expanded child tax credit and earned income tax credit for low- and moderate-income workers. This useful 308-page guide also provides more than 6,000 interactive links to help taxpayers quickly get answers to their questions.
Publication 17 has been published annually by the IRS for more than 65 years and has been available on the IRS Web site since 1996. As in prior years, this publication is packed with basic tax-filing information and tips on what income to report and how to report it, figuring capital gains and losses, claiming dependents, choosing the standard deduction versus itemizing deductions, and using IRAs to save for retirement.
Those who do not have access to the Internet can call 1-800-TAX-FORM (829-3676) to request a free copy from the IRS. Printed copies will be available in January 2010.
Besides Publication 17, IRS.gov offers many other helpful resources for those doing year-end tax planning. Many 2009 forms are already posted, and updated versions of other forms, instructions and publications are being posted almost every day. Forms already available include Form 1040, short Forms 1040A and 1040EZ, Schedule A for itemizing deductions, new Schedule L for those increasing their standard deduction by real-estate taxes paid, sales or excise taxes on new car purchases or a net disaster loss, and new Schedule M for claiming the making work pay credit.
In addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Information Center features a variety of recovery-related videos, podcasts, tax tips and answers to frequently-asked questions.