Tax Preparation Help  

Tax Publications

The IRS produces many free publications to help you fill out your tax return and to answer your tax questions.

All IRS publications and forms can be downloaded from the Internet or ordered at no charge by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676. You can also get forms faxed to you. See section IRS Tax Fax under Tax Information Available Electronically (page 2).

Tax Publications and Related Forms: You may want to get one or more of the publications listed below for information on a specific topic. Where the publication title may not be enough to describe the contents of the publication, there is a brief description. Forms and schedules related to the contents of each publication are shown after each listing.

Most Popular Publications

Pub 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals) can help you prepare your individual tax return. This publication takes you step-by-step through each part of the return. It explains the tax law in a way that will help you better understand your taxes so that you pay only as much as you owe and no more. This publication also includes information on various kinds of credits you may be able to take to reduce your tax. (Note to Tax Professionals only: There is a fee to order this publication.)

Forms 1040 (Schedules A, B, D, E, EIC, R), 1040A, 1040EZ, 2106, 2119, 2441, 3903, Form W-2. Pub 334, Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ) explains federal tax laws that applies to sole proprietors and statutory employees. (Note to Tax Professionals only: There is a fee for this publication.) Form 1040 (Schedule C, C-EZ, SE), Form 4562.

Pub 553, Highlights of 2001 Tax Changes provides detailed information about tax law changes that may affect you this filing season. There were a number of tax law changes that occurred in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 that may apply to many individuals and business over the next few years. Pub 553 includes these and other tax law changes.

Pub 579SP, Cómo Preparar la Declaración de Impuesto Federal (How to Prepare the Federal Income Tax Return) in Spanish.

Form 1040, Form 1040A (Schedules 1 and 2), Form 1040EZ, and Schedule EIC. Most Popular Publications!


Pub 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer — explains some of your most important rights as a taxpayer. It also explains the examination, appeal, collection, and refund processes. To ensure that you always receive fair treatment in tax matters, you should know what your rights are.

Pub 1SP, Derechos del Contribuyente (Your Rights as a Taxpayer) — ( Publication 1 in Spanish.)

Pub 3, Armed Forces´ Tax Guide — gives information about the special tax situations of active members of the Armed Forces. This publication contains information on items that are included in and excluded from gross income, combat zone exclusion, alien status, dependency exemptions, sale of residence, itemized deductions, tax liability, extension of deadline, and filing returns. Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040X, 1310, 2106, 2688, 2848, 3903, 4868, 8822, 9465, W-2.

Pub 15, Circular E, Employer´s Tax Guide — Forms 940, 941.

Pub 15-A, Employer´s Supplemental Tax Guide

Pub 15-B, Employer´s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

Pub 51, Circular A, Agricultural Employer´s Tax Guide — Form 943.

Pub 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad — explains the special tax rules for U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work abroad or who have income earned in foreign countries. In particular, this publication explains the rules for excluding income and excluding or deducting certain housing costs. Forms 1040, 1116, 2555, 2555-EZ.

Pub 80, Federal Tax Guide for Employers in the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Circular SS) — Forms 940, 941SS, 943.

Pub 179, Guía Contributiva Federal Para Patronos Puertorriqueños (Circular PR) (Federal Tax Guide for Employers in Puerto Rico) — in Spanish. Forms 940PR, 941PR, 943PR, W-3PR.

Pub 225, Farmer´s Tax Guide — identifies the kind of farm income you must report and the different deductions you can take. Forms 1040 (Schedules F, J, SE), 4562, 4684, 4797.

Pub 378, Fuel Tax Credits and Refunds — explains the credit or refund that may be allowable for the federal excise taxes on certain fuels. Also discusses the alcohol fuel credit. Forms 720, 4136, 6478, 8849.

Pub 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses — identifies business-related travel, entertainment, gift, and transportation expenses that may be deductible. Forms 2106, 2106EZ.

Pub 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information — discusses some tax rules that affect every person who may have to file a federal income tax return such as who must file, what filing status to use, how many exemptions to claim and who cannot take the standard deduction. Forms 2120, 8332.

Pub 502, Medical and Dental Expenses — explains which medical and dental expenses are deductible, how to deduct them, and how to treat insurance reimbursements you may receive for medical care. Form 1040 (Schedule A).

Pub 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses — explains how you may be able to claim a credit if you pay someone to care for your dependent who is under age 13, or your spouse or dependent who is unable to care for himself or herself. Tax rules covering dependent care benefits from your employer are also explained. See Publication 926 for information on the employment taxes you may have to pay if you are a household employer. Forms 1040A (Schedule 2), 2441.

Pub 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals — Form 8332.

Pub 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax — Forms 1040-ES, 2210, 2210F, W-4, W-4P, W-4S, W-4V.

Pub 509, Tax Calendars for 2006

Pub 510, Excise Taxes for 2005 — covers in detail the various federal excise taxes reported on Form 720. These include environmental taxes; communications and air transportation taxes; fuel taxes; manufacturers taxes; tax on heavy trucks, trailers, and tractors; luxury tax; and the ship passenger tax. This publication also provides information on wagering activities reported on Form 11-C and 730. Forms 11-C, 637, 720, 730, 6197, 6627.

Pub 513, Tax Information for Visitors to the United States — briefly reviews the general requirements of U.S. income tax rules for foreign visitors who may have to file a U.S. income tax return during their visit. Most visitors who come to the United States are not allowed to work in this country. Check with the IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE before taking a job. Forms 1040C, 1040-ES (NR), 1040NR, 2063.

Pub 514, Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals — explains the foreign tax credit that is allowed for income taxes paid to a foreign government on income taxed by both the United States and a foreign country. Form 1116.

Pub 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities — provides information for withholding agents who are required to withhold and report tax on payments to nonresident aliens partnerships and foreign corporations. This publication includes information on required withholding upon the disposition of a U.S. real property interest by a foreign person. Also, it includes three tables listing U.S. tax treaties and some of the treaty provisions that provide for reduction of or exemption from withholding for certain types of income. Forms 1042, 1042S, 8233, 8288, 8288-A, 8288-B, 8804, 8805, 8813, W-8 series (BEN, ECI, EXP, IMY).

Pub 516, U.S. Government Civilian Employees Stationed Abroad — discusses many of the allowances, reimbursements, expenses and property sales that U.S. Government civilian employees may have while working overseas.

Pub 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers — discusses social security and Medicare taxes and exemptions from them for ministers and religious workers. This publication also explains the income tax treatment of certain income and expense items of interest to the clergy. Forms 1040 (Schedules C-EZ, SE), 2031, 2106EZ, 4029, 4361.

Pub 519, U.S.Tax Guide for Aliens — gives guidelines on how nonresident aliens determine their U.S. tax status and figure their U.S. income tax. Forms 1040, 1040C, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 2063.

Pub 520, Scholarships and Fellowships — explains the tax rules that apply to U.S. citizens and resident aliens who study, teach, or conduct research in the United States or abroad under scholarship and fellowship grants. Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ.

Pub 521, Moving Expenses — explains whether certain expenses of moving are deductible. For example, if you changed job locations last year or started a new job, you may be able to deduct your moving expenses. You may also be able to deduct expenses of moving to the United States if you retire while living and working overseas or if you are a survivor or dependent of a person who died while living and working overseas. Form 3903.

Pub 523, Selling Your Home — explains how to treat any gain or loss from selling your main home. Form 8828.

Pub 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled — explains who qualifies for the credit and how to figure it. Forms 1040 (Schedule R), 1040A (Schedule 3).

Pub 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income

Pub 526, Charitable Contributions — explains how to claim a deduction for charitable contributions and describes organizations that are qualified to receive charitable contributions. It also describes contributions you can (and cannot) deduct and explains deduction limits. Forms 1040 (Schedule A), 8283.

Pub 527, Residential Rental Property — explains rental income and expenses and how to report them on your return. This publication also defines other special rules that apply to rental activity. Forms 1040 (Schedule E), 4562.

Pub 529, Miscellaneous Deductions — identifies expenses you may be able to take as miscellaneous deductions on Form 1040 (Schedule A), such as employee business expenses and expenses of producing income. This publication does not discuss other itemized deductions, such as the ones for charitable contributions, moving expenses, interest, taxes, or medical and dental expenses. Forms 1040 (Schedule A), 2106, 2106EZ.

Pub 530, Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners — Forms 1040 (Schedule A), 8396.

Pub 531, Reporting Tip Income — explains how tip income is taxed and the rules for keeping records and reporting tips to your employers. This publication focuses on employees of food and beverage establishments, but recordkeeping rules and other information may also apply to other workers who receive tips, such as hairdressers, cab drivers, and casino dealers. (See Publication 1244.) Forms 4070, 4070A.

Pub 533, Self-Employment Tax — explains how people who work for themselves figure and pay self-employment tax on their earned income. Self-employment tax consists of social security and Medicare taxes. Form 1040 (Schedule SE).

Pub 534, Depreciating Property Placed in Service Before 1987 — Form 4562.

Pub 535, Business Expenses — discusses in detail common business expenses and explains what is and is not deductible.

Pub 536, Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for Individuals, Estates and Trusts — discusses net operating losses (NOLs) for individuals, estates, and trusts. Such topics include: how to figure an NOL; when to use an NOL; how to claim an NOL deduction; and how to figure an NOL carry-over. Form 1045.

Pub 537, Installment Sales — explains the tax treatment of installment sales. (Installment sales are sales where part or all of the selling price is paid after the year of the sale.) If you finance the buyer´s purchase of your property, instead of having the buyer get a loan or mortgage from a bank (or other lender), you probably have an installment sale. Form 6252.

Pub 538, Accounting Periods and Methods — explains some of the rules for accounting periods and methods. This publication is not intended as a guide to general business and tax accounting rules. Forms 1128, 3115.

Pub 541, Partnerships — Form 1065 (Schedules K, K-1).

Pub 542, Corporations — Forms 1120, 1120-A.

Pub 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets — explains how to figure gain and loss on various transactions, such as trading, selling, or exchanging an asset used in a trade or business. This publication defines capital and noncapital assets and the tax results of different types of gains and losses. Forms 1040 (Schedule D), 4797, 8824.

Pub 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts — helps you identify a deductible disaster, casualty, or theft loss. This publication also explains how to figure and prove your loss and how to treat the reimbursement you receive from insurance or other sources. Form 4684.

Pub 550, Investment Income and Expenses — covers investment income such as interest and dividends, expenses related to investments, and sales and trades of investment property including capital gains and losses. Forms 1040 (Schedules B, D), 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 4952, 6781, 8815.

Pub 551, Basis of Assets — explains how to determine the basis of property, which is usually its cost.

Pub 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals — highlights and serves as a ready reference on general recordkeeping for individual income tax filing.

Pub 554, Older Americans´ Tax Guide — provides helpful information on tax topics that may be of interest to older Americans. This guide also covers certain provisions that give special tax treatment to them.

Pub 555, Community Property — provides helpful information to married taxpayers who reside in a community property state: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin. If you and your spouse file separate tax returns, you should understand how community property laws affect the way you figure your income on your federal income tax return.

Pub 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund — Forms 1040X, 1120X.

Pub 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization, explains the rules and procedures that apply to organizations applying for exemption from federal income tax under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code. Forms 990, 990EZ, 990PF, 1023, 1024.

Pub 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators — provides helpful information for reporting and paying the proper federal income taxes if you are responsible for settling a decedent´s estate. This publication answers many questions that a spouse or other survivor faces when a person dies. Forms 1040, 1041.

Pub 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans) — provides guidance relevant to retirement plans available to small businesses (including the self-employed). It covers simplified employee pensions (SEPs), qualified plans, and savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE) retirement plans.

Pub 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property — defines fair market value and provides other guidance that may help you determine the value of property you donated to a qualified organization.

Pub 564, Mutual Fund Distributions — explains the tax treatment of distributions paid or allocated to an individual shareholder of a mutual fund, and explains how to figure gain or loss on the sale of mutual fund shares. Forms 1040 (Schedules B, D), 1099-DIV.

Pub 570, Tax Guide for Individuals with Income from U.S. Possessions — provides tax guidance for individuals with income from American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This publication also gives information and addresses for filing U.S. possession tax returns, if required. Forms 1040, 1040-SS, 4563, 5074, 8689.

Pub 571, Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans) for Employees of Public Schools and Certain Tax-Exempt Organizations — explains the contribution rules that apply to tax-sheltered annuity plans offered by qualified employers to eligible employees. Rules discussed include the limit on elective deferrals, the maximum exclusion allowance and the limit on annual additions.. Form 5330.

Pub 575, Pension and Annuity Income — explains how to determine the tax treatment of distributions received from a qualified pension and annuity plans. It also discusses the optional tax treatment you can choose to use for lump-sum distributions received from a pension, from stock bonus and profit-sharing plans. Additionally, this publication discusses how to roll over distributions from a qualified plan or IRA. Forms 1040, 1040A, 1099-R, 4972.

Pub 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records — provides basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business. It also provides information on keeping records and illustrates a recordkeeping system.

Pub 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property) — contains schedules for listing contents of your residence and for determining your losses on personal-use property.

Pub 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook — contains schedules for listing your income producing property.

Pub 584SP, Registro de Pérdidas Personales Causadas por Hechos Fortuitos (Imprevistos) o Robos — ( Publication 584 in Spanish).

Pub 587, Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Day-Care Providers) — explains rules for claiming deductions for business use of your home and what expenses may be deducted.

Pub 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) — explains the tax rules that apply to IRAs and the penalties for not following them. Rules discussed include those affecting contributions, deductions, transfers (including rollovers) and withdrawals. This publication includes tax rules for traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEPs, and SIMPLEs. Forms 1040, 1040A, 5329, 8606.

Pub 593, Tax Highlights for U.S. Citizens and Residents Going Abroad — provides a brief overview of various U.S. tax provisions that apply to U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live or work abroad and expect to receive income from foreign sources.

Pub 594, Understanding the Collection Process — defines your rights and duties as a taxpayer who owes federal taxes. This publication also explains how the IRS fulfills its legal obligation to collect these taxes.

Pub 594SP, Comprendiendo el Proceso de Cobro (Understanding the Collection Process) — (Publication 594 in Spanish).

Pub 595, Tax Highlights for Commercial Fishermen — is primarily intended for sole proprietors who use Form 1040 (Schedules C or C-EZ) to report profit or loss from fishing. This publication does not cover corporations or partnerships in detail. Forms 1040 (Schedules C, C-EZ ), 1099-MISC.

Pub 596, Earned Income Credit — explains who may receive the credit, how to figure and claim the credit, and how to receive advance payments of the credit. Forms 1040, 1040A, Schedule EIC, EIC Worksheets, W-5.

Pub 596SP, Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo (Earned Income Credit) — ( Publication 596 in Spanish).

Pub 597, Information on the U.S.-Canada Income Tax Treaty — this publication explains certain tax provisions that may apply to U.S. residents who temporarily work in Canada.

Pub 598, Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations — explains how the tax applies to most tax-exempt organizations. It explains the rules that apply if an organization regularly operates a trade or business that is not substantially related to its exempt purpose. Form 990-T.

Pub 686, Certification for Reduced Tax Rates in Tax Treaty Countries — explains how U.S. citizens, residents, and domestic corporations may certify to a foreign country that they are entitled to tax treaty benefits.

Pub 721, Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits — explains how the federal income tax rules apply to civil service retirement benefits received by retired federal employees (including those disabled) or their survivors. Forms 1040, 1040A. Pub 850, English-Spanish Glossary of Words and Phrases Used in Publications Issued by the Internal Revenue Service

Pub 901, U.S.Tax Treaties — explains the reduced tax rates and exemptionsfrom U.S. taxes provided under U.S. tax treaties with foreign countries. This publication provides helpful information for residents of those countries who receive income from U.S. sources. It may be useful to U.S. citizens and residents with income from abroad.

Pub 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities — briefly explains tax laws that apply to persons with disabilities and directs readers to sources of detailed information, such as Pub 502, Medical and Dental Expenses; Pub 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses; Pub 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled;

Pub 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income; and Pub 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits. For information on the disabled access credit, see Pub 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. For business tax information on deducting costs of removing architectural or transportation barriers, see

Pub 535, Business Expenses.

Pub 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide — explains the federal tax obligations of persons filing bankruptcy petitions and bankruptcy estates. Forms 982, 1040, 1041.

Pub 911, Direct Sellers — provides information on figuring income and deductible expenses for your direct-sales business. Adirect seller is a person who sells consumer products to others on a person-to-person basis, such as door-to-door, at sales parties, or by appointment in someone´s home. Form 1040 (Schedules C).

Pub 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits — explains taxability of social security and equivalent railroad retirement benefits. Forms SSA-1042S and RRB-1042S, SSA-1099 and RRB-1099, Social Security Benefits Worksheets.

Pub 918, Drafts of Worksheets in IRS Publications — available on IRS Web site and IRS CD only.

Pub 919, How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding ? — discusses Form W-4 and offers guidance for getting the right amount of tax withheld from your pay. Form W-4.

Pub 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules — Form 8582.

Pub 926, Household Employer´s Tax Guide For Wages Paid in 2001 — identifies “household employees.” Included are tax rules you should know when you employ a household worker such as a babysitter, maid, yard worker, or similar domestic worker. This publication explains what federal employment taxes to withhold and pay and what records to keep. Forms 1040 (Schedule H), W-2, W-3, W-4, W-5.

Pub 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents — explains filing requirements and the standard deduction amount for dependents. This publication also explains when and how a child´s parents may elect to include their child´s interest and dividend income on their return, and when and how a child´s interest, dividends, and other investment income reported on the child´s return are taxed at the parents´ tax rate. Forms 8615, 8814.

Pub 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction — discusses the rules for deducting home mortgage interest limits on the deduction and how to report it on your tax return. Form 1040 (Schedule A).

Pub 938, Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs) Reporting Information (And Other Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) — contains directories of REMICs and CDOs to assist brokers and middlemen with their reporting requirements. Available on the IRS Web site.

Pub 939, General Rule for Pensions and Annuities — covers the method used to figure the tax-free part of pension and annuity payments from nonqualified plans, using life expectancy actuarial tables. The General Rule is used primarily for nonqualified plans, such as purchased commercial annuities, private annuities, and nonqualified employee plans.

Pub 946, How to Depreciate Property — Form 4562.


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