Social Security Number
You must enter your social security number (SSN) in the space provided on your return. Be sure the SSN on your return is the same as the SSN on
your social security card. If you are married, enter the SSNs for both you and your spouse, whether you file jointly or separately.
If you are filing a joint return, write the SSNs in the same order as the names. Please use this same order in submitting other forms and documents
to the IRS.
If you changed your name because of marriage, divorce, etc., immediately notify your Social Security Administration (SSA) office so the name on
your tax return is the same as the one the SSA has on its records. This may prevent delays in issuing your refund and safeguard your future social
Dependent's social security number.
You must provide the SSN of each dependent you claim, regardless of the dependent's age. This requirement applies to all dependents (not
just your children) claimed on your tax return.
If your child was born and died in 2002 and you do not have an SSN for the child, you may attach a copy of the child's birth certificate instead.
If you do, enter DIED in column 2 of line 6c.
No social security number.
File Form SS-5 with your local SSA office to get an SSN for yourself or your dependent. It usually takes about 2 weeks to get an
SSN. If you or your dependent is not eligible for an SSN, see Individual taxpayer identification number, later.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you must show proof of age, identity, and citizenship with your Form SS-5. If you are 18 or older, you must appear
in person with this proof at an SSA office.
Form SS-5 is available at any SSA office. If you have any questions about which documents you can use as proof of age, identity, or
citizenship, contact your SSA office.
If your dependent does not have an SSN by the time your return is due, you may want to ask for an extension of time to file, as explained earlier
under When Do I Have To File.
If you do not provide a required SSN or if you provide an incorrect SSN, your tax may be increased and any refund may be reduced.
Adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN).
If you are in the process of adopting a child who is a U.S. citizen or resident and cannot get an SSN for the child until the adoption is final,
you can apply for an ATIN to use instead of an SSN.
File Form W-7A with the IRS to get an ATIN if all of the following are true.
- You have a child living with you who was placed in your home for legal adoption by an authorized placement agency.
- You cannot get the child's existing SSN even though you have made a reasonable attempt to get it from the birth parents, the placement
agency, and other persons.
- You cannot get an SSN for the child from the SSA because, for example, the adoption is not final.
- You cannot get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (discussed later) for the child.
- You are eligible to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return.
After the adoption is final, you must apply for an SSN for the child. You cannot continue using the ATIN.
See Form W-7A for more information.
Nonresident alien spouse.
If your spouse is a nonresident alien and you file a joint or separate return, your spouse must have either an SSN or an ITIN. If your spouse is
not eligible for an SSN, see the next discussion.
Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
The IRS will issue you an ITIN if you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get an SSN. To apply for an
ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS. It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks to get an ITIN. Enter this number on your tax return wherever
your SSN is requested.
If your dependent is a nonresident or resident alien who does not have and is not eligible to get a social security number (SSN), file Form
W-7 with the IRS to apply for an ITIN. Enter this number on your return wherever the dependent's SSN is requested.
An ITIN is for tax use only. It does not entitle you or your dependent to social security benefits or change the employment or immigration status
of either of you under U.S. law.
Penalty for not providing social security number.
If you do not include your SSN or the SSN of your spouse or dependent as required, you may have to pay a penalty. See the discussion on
Penalties, later, for more information.
SSN on correspondence.
If you write to the IRS about your tax account, be sure to include your SSN (and the name and SSN of your spouse, if you filed a joint return) in
your correspondence. Because your SSN is used to identify your account, this helps the IRS respond to your correspondence promptly.
Presidential Election Campaign Fund
This fund was set up to help pay for presidential election campaigns. You may have $3 of your tax liability go to this fund by checking the
Yes box on Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ. If you are filing a joint return, your spouse may also have $3 go to the fund. If you
check Yes, it will not change the tax you pay or the refund you will receive.
The following information on entering numbers on your tax return may be useful in making the return easier to complete.
Rounding off dollars.
You may round off cents to whole dollars on your return and schedules. If you do round to whole dollars, you must round all amounts. To round, drop
amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. For example, $1.39 becomes $1 and $2.50 becomes $3.
If you have to add two or more amounts to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total.
You receive two W-2 forms: one showing wages of $5,000.55 and one showing wages of $18,500.73. On Form 1040, line 7, you would enter $23,501
($5,000.55 + $18,500.73 = $23,501.28), not $23,502 ($5,001 + $18,501).
If you are asked to enter the smaller or larger of two equal amounts, enter that amount.
Line 1 is $500. Line 3 is $500. Line 5 asks you to enter the smaller of line 1 or 3. Enter $500 on line 5.
If you need to enter a negative amount, put the amount in parentheses rather than using a minus sign. To combine positive and negative amounts, add
all the positive amounts together and then subtract the negative amounts.
Depending on the form you file and the items reported on your return, you may have to complete additional schedules and forms and attach them to
IRS e-file is paperless. There's nothing to sign, attach, or mail, not even your Forms W-2.
Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, is a statement from your employer of wages and other compensation paid to you and taxes withheld
from your pay. You should have a Form W-2 from each employer. Be sure to attach a copy of Form W-2 in the place indicated on the front
page of your return. Attach it only to the front page of your return, not to any attachments. For more information, see Form W-2 in
If you received a Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts,
etc., showing federal income tax withheld, attach a copy of that form in the place indicated on the front page of your return.
There are no additional schedules to file with Form 1040EZ.
Attach the additional schedules and forms that you had to complete behind the Form 1040A in order by number. If you are filing Schedule EIC, put it
last. Do not attach items unless required to do so.
Attach any forms and schedules behind Form 1040 in order of the Attachment Sequence Number shown in the upper right corner of the form or
schedule. Then arrange all other statements or attachments in the same order as the forms and schedules they relate to and attach them last. Do not
attach items unless required to do so.
Third Party Designee
You can authorize the IRS to discuss your return with a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. If you check the Yes box in
the third party designee area of your 2002 tax return and provide the information required, you are authorizing:
- The IRS to call the designee to answer any questions that arise during the processing of your return, and
- The designee to:
- Give information that is missing from your return to the IRS,
- Call the IRS for information about the processing of your return or the status of your refund or payments, and
- Respond to certain IRS notices that you have shown the designee. These notices about math errors, offsets (see Refunds, later),
and return preparation will be sent to you, not the designee.
The authorization cannot be revoked. However, it will automatically end no later than the due date (without any extensions) for filing your 2003
tax return. This is April 15, 2004, for most people.
See your form instructions for more information.
If you want to allow the paid preparer who signed your return to discuss it with the IRS, just enter Preparer in the space for the
You must sign and date your return. If you file a joint return, both you and your spouse must sign the return, even if only one of you had income.
If you file a joint return, both spouses are generally liable for the tax, and the entire tax liability may be assessed against either spouse. See chapter 2.
If you e-file your return, you can use an electronic signature to sign your return. See Does My Return Have To Be On Paper,
If you are due a refund, it cannot be issued unless you have signed your return.
Enter your occupation in the space provided in the signature section. If you file a joint return, enter both your occupation and your spouse's
occupation. Entering your daytime telephone number may help speed the processing of your return.
When someone can sign for you.
You can appoint an agent to sign your return if you are:
- Unable to sign the return because of disease or injury,
- Absent from the United States for a continuous period of at least 60 days before the due date for filing your return, or
- Given permission to do so by the IRS office in your area.
Power of attorney.
A return signed by an agent in any of these cases must have a power of attorney (POA) attached that authorizes the agent to sign for you. You can
use a POA that states that the agent is granted authority to sign the return, or you can use Form 2848, Power of Attorney and
Declaration of Representative. Part I of Form 2848 must state that the agent is granted authority to sign the return.
Unable to sign.
If the taxpayer is mentally incompetent and cannot sign the return, it must be signed by a court-appointed representative who can act for the
If the taxpayer is mentally competent but physically unable to sign the return or POA, a valid signature is defined under state law. It can
be anything that clearly indicates the taxpayer's intent to sign. For example, the taxpayer's X with the signatures of two witnesses might be
considered a valid signature under a state's law.
Spouse unable to sign.
If your spouse is unable to sign for any reason, see Signing a joint return in chapter 2.
If a child has to file a tax return but cannot sign the return, the child's parent, guardian, or another legally responsible person must sign the
child's name, followed by the words By (signature), parent (or guardian) for minor child.
Generally, anyone you pay to prepare, assist in preparing, or review your tax return must sign it and fill in the other blanks in the paid
preparer's area of your return. Signature stamps and labels are not acceptable.
If the preparer is self-employed (that is, not employed by any person or business to prepare the return), he or she should check the self-employed
box in the Paid Preparer's Use Only space on the return.
The preparer must give you a copy of your return in addition to the copy filed with the IRS.
If you prepare your own return, leave this area blank. If another person prepares your return and does not charge you, that person should not sign
If you have questions about whether a preparer must sign your return, please contact any IRS office.
When you complete your return, you will determine if you paid more income tax than you owed. If so, you can get a refund of the amount you overpaid
or, if you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, you can choose to apply all or part of the overpayment to your next year's (2003) estimated tax. You cannot
have your overpayment applied to your 2003 estimated tax if you file Form 1040EZ.
If you choose to have a 2002 overpayment applied to your 2003 estimated tax, you cannot change your mind and have any of it refunded to you after
the due date of your 2002 return.
Follow the form instructions to complete the entries to claim your refund and/or to apply your overpayment to your 2003 estimated tax.
If your refund for 2002 is large, you may want to decrease the amount of income tax withheld from your pay in 2003. See chapter 5 for more
Instead of getting a paper check, you may be able to have your refund deposited directly into your account at a bank or other financial
institution. Follow the form instructions to request Direct Deposit.
If the Direct Deposit cannot be done, the IRS will send a check instead.
Overpayment less than one dollar.
If your overpayment is less than one dollar, you will not get a refund unless you ask for it in writing.
Cashing your refund check.
Cash your tax refund check soon after you receive it. Checks not cashed within 12 months of the date they are issued will be canceled and the
proceeds returned to the IRS.
If your check has been canceled, you can apply to the IRS to have it reissued.
Refund more or less than expected.
If you receive a check for a refund you are not entitled to, or for an overpayment that should have been credited to estimated tax, do not cash the
check. Call the IRS.
If you receive a check for more than the refund you claimed, do not cash the check until you receive a notice explaining the difference.
If your refund check is for less than you claimed, it should be accompanied by a notice explaining the difference. Cashing the check does not stop
you from claiming an additional amount of refund.
If you did not receive a notice and you have any questions about the amount of your refund, you should wait 2 weeks. If you still have not received
a notice, call the IRS.
Offset against debts.
If you are due a refund but have not paid certain amounts you owe, all or part of your refund may be used to pay all or part of the past-due
amount. This includes past-due federal income tax, other federal debts (such as student loans), state income tax, and child and spousal support
payments. You will be notified if the refund you claimed has been offset against your debts.
Joint return and injured spouse.
When a joint return is filed and only one spouse owes a past-due amount, the other spouse can be considered an injured spouse. An
injured spouse can get a refund for his or her share of the overpayment that would otherwise be used to pay the past-due amount.
To be considered an injured spouse, you must:
- File a joint return,
- Have reported income (such as wages, interest, etc.),
- Have made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments), or claimed the earned income
credit or other refundable credit, and
- Have an overpayment, all or part of which may be applied against the past-due amount.
If you are an injured spouse, you can obtain your portion of the joint refund by completing
Form 8379, Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation. Follow the instructions on the form.
Amount You Owe
When you complete your return, you will determine if you have paid the full amount of tax that you owe. If you owe additional tax, you should pay
it with your return.
If the IRS figures your tax for you, you will receive a bill for any tax that is due. You should pay this bill within 30 days (or by the due date
of your return, if later). See Tax Figured by IRS in chapter 31.
If you do not pay your tax when due, you may have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty. See Penalties, later. For more information about your
balance due, see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process.
If the amount you owe for 2002 is large, you may want to increase the amount of income tax withheld from your pay or make estimated tax payments
for 2003. See chapter 5 for more information.
How To Pay
If you have an amount due on your tax return, you can pay by check, money order, or credit card. If you filed electronically, you also may be able
to make your payment by electronic funds withdrawal.
You do not have to pay if the amount you owe is less than $1.
Payment by check or money order.
If you pay by check or money order, make it out to the United States Treasury. Please show your correct name, address, social security
number, daytime telephone number, and the tax year and form number on the front of your check or money order.
For example, if you file Form 1040 for 2002 and you owe additional tax, show your name, address, social security number, daytime telephone number,
and 2002 Form 1040 on the front of your check or money order. If you file an amended return (Form 1040X) for 2001 and you owe tax, show your
name, address, social security number, daytime telephone number, and 2001 Form 1040X on the front of your check or money order.
Enclose your payment with your return, but do not attach it to the form.
If you filed Form 1040, please complete Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, and enclose
it with your payment and return. Form 1040-V will help us process your payment more accurately and efficiently. Follow the instructions that
come with the form.
Do not mail cash with your return. If you pay cash at an IRS office, keep the receipt as part of your records.
Payment not honored.
If your check or money order is not honored by your bank (or other financial institution) and the IRS does not receive the funds, you still owe the
tax. In addition, you may be subject to a dishonored check penalty.
Payment by credit card.
You can use your American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard®, or Visa® credit card.
To pay by credit card, call a service provider and follow the recorded instructions. You can also pay by credit card over the Internet using a
service provider's web site.
The service providers charge a convenience fee based on the amount you are paying. Fees may vary between the providers. You will be told what the
fee is during the transaction and will have the option to continue or end the transaction. You may also obtain the convenience fee by calling the
service provider's automated customer service telephone number or visiting their respective web site.
Do not add the convenience fee to your tax payment.
If you pay by credit card, write the confirmation number you were given at the end of the transaction and the tax payment amount in the upper left
corner of page 1 of your tax return.
|Official Payments Corporation
|To make a payment, call
|For Customer Service
|To make a payment, call
|For Customer Service
Electronic payment options.
Electronic payment options are convenient, safe and secure methods for paying individual income taxes. There's no check to write, money order to
buy, or voucher to mail.
Electronic funds withdrawal.
You can e-file and pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal from your checking or savings account. This option
is available through tax software packages, tax professionals, and TeleFile. If you select this payment option, you will need to have your account
number, your financial institution's routing transit number, and account type (checking or savings). You can schedule the payment for any future date
up to and including the return due date (April 15, 2003).
Be sure to check with your financial institution to make sure that an electronic funds withdrawal is allowed and to get the correct routing and
You can e-file and pay in a single step by authorizing a credit card payment. This option is available through some tax software
packages and tax professionals. You can also pay by credit card using the telephone or the Internet. See Payment by credit card, earlier.
Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
EFTPS offers another way to pay your federal taxes. Best of all, it's free and available to business and individual taxpayers. In fact, it's
recommended for estimated tax payments (Form 1040-ES) and installment agreement payments. For details on how to enroll, visit www.EFTPS.gov
or call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-945-8400.
Estimated tax payments.
Do not include any 2003 estimated tax payment in the payment for your 2002 income tax return. See chapter 5 for information on how to pay estimated
Interest is charged on tax you do not pay by the due date of your return. Interest is charged even if you get an extension of time for filing.
If the IRS figures your tax for you, interest cannot start earlier than the 31st day after the IRS sends you a bill. For information, see Tax
Figured by IRS in chapter 31.
Interest on penalties.
Interest is charged on the failure-to-file penalty, the accuracy-related penalty, and the fraud penalty from the due date of the return (including
extensions) to the date of payment. Interest on other penalties starts on the date of notice and demand, but is not charged on penalties paid within
21 calendar days from the date of the notice (or within 10 business days if the notice is for $100,000 or more).
Interest due to IRS error or delay.
All or part of any interest you were charged can be forgiven if the interest is due to an unreasonable error or delay by an officer or employee of
the IRS in performing a ministerial or managerial act.
A ministerial act is a procedural or mechanical act that occurs during the processing of your case. A managerial act includes personnel transfers
and extended personnel training. A decision concerning the proper application of federal tax law is not a ministerial or managerial act.
The interest can be forgiven only if you are not responsible in any important way for the error or delay and the IRS has notified you in writing of
the deficiency or payment. For more information, get Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund.
Interest and certain penalties may also be suspended for a limited period if you filed your return by the due date (including extensions) and the
IRS does not provide you with a notice specifically stating your liability and the basis for it before the close of the 18-month period beginning on
the later of:
- The date the return is filed, or
- The due date of the return without regard to extensions.
For more information, get Publication 556.
If you cannot pay the full amount due with your return, you can ask to make monthly installment payments. However, you will be charged interest and
may be charged a late payment penalty on the tax not paid by April 15, 2003, even if your request to pay in installments is granted. If your request
is granted, you must also pay a fee. To limit the interest and penalty charges, pay as much of the tax as possible with your return. But before
requesting an installment agreement, you should consider other less costly alternatives, such as a bank loan.
To ask for an installment agreement, use
Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. You should receive a response to your request within
30 days. But if you file your return after March 31, it may take longer for a reply.
You can use a credit card to make installment agreement payments. See Payment by credit card, under How To Pay, earlier.
Guaranteed availability of installment agreement.
The IRS must agree to accept the payment of your tax liability in installments if, as of the date you offer to enter into the agreement:
- Your total taxes (not counting interest, penalties, additions to the tax, or additional amounts) do not exceed $10,000,
- In the last 5 years, you (and your spouse if the liability relates to a joint return) have not:
- Failed to file any required income tax return,
- Failed to pay any tax shown on any such return, or
- Entered into an installment agreement for the payment of any income tax,
- You show you cannot pay your income tax in full when due,
- The tax will be paid in full in 3 years or less, and
- You agree to comply with the tax laws while your agreement is in effect.
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