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Personal information you give to your doctor is shared with insurance companies, pharmacies, researchers, and employers based on specific regulations. The privacy of your health records is protected by federal law (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA), which:

  • Defines your rights over your health information
  • Sets rules and limits on who is allowed to receive and/or see your health information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) (1-800-368-1019) is an excellent resource for complete details and advice about the HIPPA ruling. Along with fact sheets and educational materials, the OCR also provides a listing of resources for consumers, providers and advocates.

You can request a copy of your medical records from the provider or from the hospital where medical services were provided. You will probably be charged a fee to cover retrieving and mailing copies to you.

If you believe that a person, agency, or organization covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule violated your health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule, you may be able to file written complaints with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights.

Protect Your Medical Information

Know your rights and exercise them. Here are some steps you should take to ensure the accuracy and privacy of your medical information:

  • Talk with your doctor about confidentiality concerns. Discuss the uses of your health information and what is required for insurance purposes.
  • Read the fine print. Most authorization forms contain clauses allowing information to be released. You may be able to restrict some disclosures by revising the form. Hint: Be sure to initial and date your revisions.
  • Request a copy of your medical records so you know what's in them.
  • Register your objections to disclosures that you consider inappropriate. Contact the specific entity involved, state office, or the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Be cautious when providing personal information for "surveys," health screenings, or "sweepstakes" or on a health web sites. Be sure to check their privacy policy, ask how the information will be used and who will have access to it.

Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft, a twist on traditional identity theft, happens when someone steals your personal information. Like traditional identity theft, medical ID theft can affect your finances, but it also can take a toll on your health. Some ways you might detect medical ID theft include:

  • You get a bill for medical services you did not receive.
  • A debt collector contacts you about a medical debt you don't owe.
  • You find medical collection notices on you don't recognize on your credit report.
  • Your health plan says you've reached your limit on benefits when you know you haven't.
  • You are denied insurance because your medical records show a condition you don't have.

If you believe that a person, agency, or organization covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule violated your health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule, you may be able to file a written complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights.

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Free taxes online Publication 225 - Introductory Material Table of Contents IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. Free taxes online Tax questions. Free taxes online Future Developments What's New for 2013 What's New for 2014 Reminders Introduction You are in the business of farming if you cultivate, operate, or manage a farm for profit, either as owner or tenant. Free taxes online A farm includes livestock, dairy, poultry, fish, fruit, and truck farms. Free taxes online It also includes plantations, ranches, ranges, and orchards. Free taxes online This publication explains how the federal tax laws apply to farming. Free taxes online Use this publication as a guide to figure your taxes and complete your farm tax return. Free taxes online If you need more information on a subject, get the specific IRS tax publication covering that subject. Free taxes online We refer to many of these free publications throughout this publication. Free taxes online See chapter 16 for information on ordering these publications. Free taxes online The explanations and examples in this publication reflect the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation of tax laws enacted by Congress, Treasury regulations, and court decisions. Free taxes online However, the information given does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning. Free taxes online This publication covers subjects on which a court may have made a decision more favorable to taxpayers than the interpretation of the Service. Free taxes online Until these differing interpretations are resolved by higher court decisions, or in some other way, this publication will continue to present the interpretation of the Service. Free taxes online The IRS Mission. Free taxes online   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. Free taxes online Comments and suggestions. Free taxes online   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Free taxes online   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Business Forms and Publications Branch SE:W:CAR:MP:T:B 1111 Constitution Ave. Free taxes online NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Free taxes online Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Free taxes online   You can email us at taxforms@irs. Free taxes online gov. Free taxes online Please put “Publications Comment” on the subject line. Free taxes online You can also send us comments from www. Free taxes online irs. Free taxes online gov/formspubs/, select “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications” under “More Information. Free taxes online ”   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. Free taxes online Ordering forms and publications. Free taxes online   Visit www. Free taxes online irs. Free taxes online 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. Free taxes online Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Free taxes online Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Free taxes online   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Free taxes online gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Free taxes online We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Free taxes online Comments on IRS enforcement actions. Free taxes online   The Small Business and Agricultural Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and 10 Regional Fairness Boards were established to receive comments from small business about federal agency enforcement actions. Free taxes online The Ombudsman will annually evaluate the enforcement activities of each agency and rate its responsiveness to small business. Free taxes online If you wish to comment on the enforcement actions of the IRS, you can: Call 1-888-734-3247, Fax your comments to 202-481-5719, Write to Office of the National Ombudsman U. Free taxes online S. Free taxes online Small Business Administration 409 3rd Street, S. Free taxes online W. Free taxes online  Washington, DC 20416 Send an email to ombudsman@sba. Free taxes online gov, or Download the appraisal form at  www. Free taxes online sba. Free taxes online gov/ombudsman. Free taxes online Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Free taxes online   If you want to confidentially report misconduct, waste, fraud, or abuse by an IRS employee, you can call 1-800-366-4484 (1-800-877-8339 for TTY/TDD users). Free taxes online You can remain anonymous. Free taxes online Farm tax classes. Free taxes online   Many state Cooperative Extension Services conduct farm tax workshops in conjunction with the IRS. Free taxes online Contact your county extension office for more information. Free taxes online Rural tax education website. Free taxes online   The Rural Tax Education website is a source for information concerning agriculturally related income and deductions and self-employment tax. Free taxes online The website is available for farmers and ranchers, other agricultural producers, Extension educators, and any one interested in learning about the tax side of the agricultural community. Free taxes online Members of the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee are contributors for the website and the website is hosted by Utah State University Cooperative Extension. Free taxes online You can visit the website at www. Free taxes online ruraltax. Free taxes online org. Free taxes online Future Developments The IRS has created a page on IRS. Free taxes online gov for information about Publication 225, at  www. Free taxes online irs. Free taxes online gov/pub225. Free taxes online Information about recent developments affecting Publication 225 will be posted on that page. Free taxes online What's New for 2013 The following items highlight a number of administrative and tax law changes for 2013. Free taxes online They are discussed in more detail throughout the publication. Free taxes online Standard mileage rate. Free taxes online  For 2013, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car, van, pickup, or panel truck for each mile of business use is 56. Free taxes online 5 cents. Free taxes online See chapter 4. Free taxes online Simplified method for business use of home deduction. Free taxes online  The IRS now provides a simplified method to determine your expenses for business use of your home. Free taxes online For more information, see Schedule C (Form 1040), Part II, and its instructions. Free taxes online See chapter 4. Free taxes online Increased section 179 expense deduction dollar limits. Free taxes online  The maximum amount you can elect to deduct for most section 179 property you placed in service in 2013 is $500,000. Free taxes online This limit is reduced by the amount by which the cost of the property placed in service during the tax year exceeds $2 million. Free taxes online See chapter 7. Free taxes online Extension of special depreciation allowance for certain qualified property acquired after December 31, 2007. Free taxes online  You may be able to take a 50% special depreciation allowance for certain qualified property acquired after December 31, 2007, and placed in service before January 1, 2014. Free taxes online See chapter 7. Free taxes online Expiration of the 3-year recovery period for certain race horses. Free taxes online . Free taxes online  The 3-year recovery period for race horses two years old or younger will expire for such horses placed in service after December 31, 2013. Free taxes online See chapter 7. Free taxes online Tax rates. Free taxes online  For tax years beginning in 2013, the social security part of the self-employment tax increases from 10. Free taxes online 4% to 12. Free taxes online 4%. Free taxes online As a result, the self-employment tax is increased from 13. Free taxes online 3% to 15. Free taxes online 3%. Free taxes online See chapter 12. Free taxes online Maximum net earnings. Free taxes online  The maximum net self-employment earnings subject to the social security part (12. Free taxes online 4%) of the self-employment tax increased to $113,700 for 2013. Free taxes online There is no maximum limit on earnings subject to the Medicare part (2. Free taxes online 9%). Free taxes online See chapter 12. Free taxes online Net investment income tax. Free taxes online  For tax years beginning in 2013, individuals, estates, and trusts may be subject to the net investment income tax (NIIT). Free taxes online If you are a trader in financial instruments and commodities and required to file Schedule C (Form 1040), your investment income (for purposes of the NIIT) may be reduced by your interest and other investment expenses to the extent those expenses are not used to reduce your self-employment income. Free taxes online For information about NIIT and the special rule for traders in financial instruments and commodities, see the Instructions for Form 8960. Free taxes online Social Security and Medicare Tax for 2013. Free taxes online  The employee tax rate for social security is 6. Free taxes online 2%. Free taxes online The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6. Free taxes online 2%. Free taxes online The social security wage base limit is $113,700. Free taxes online The Medicare tax rate is 1. Free taxes online 45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2012. Free taxes online There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Free taxes online See chapter 13. Free taxes online Additional Medicare Tax. Free taxes online  For tax years beginning in 2013, a 0. Free taxes online 9% Additional Medicare Tax applies to your Medicare wages, Railroad Tax Act (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income above a threshold amount. Free taxes online Use Form 8959, Additional Medicare Tax, to figure this tax. Free taxes online For more information, see the Instructions for Form 8959 and the Instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040). Free taxes online In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. Free taxes online 45%, you must withhold a 0. Free taxes online 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. Free taxes online You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. Free taxes online Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. Free taxes online There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. Free taxes online All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. Free taxes online For more information on what wages are subject to Medicare tax, see the chart, Special Rules for Various Types of Services and Payments, in section 15 of Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide. Free taxes online For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit IRS. Free taxes online gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box. Free taxes online See chapter 13. Free taxes online Leave-Based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. Free taxes online  Under these programs, employees may donate their vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for employer cash payments made before January 1, 2014, to qualified tax-exempt organizations providing relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Free taxes online The donated leave will not be included in the income or wages of the employee. Free taxes online The employer may deduct the cash payments as business expenses or charitable contributions. Free taxes online See chapter 13. Free taxes online Work opportunity tax credit for qualified tax-exempt organizations hiring qualified veterans extended. Free taxes online  The work opportunity tax credit is now available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work before January 1, 2014. Free taxes online Qualified tax-exempt organizations that hire eligible unemployed veterans can claim the work opportunity tax credit against their payroll tax liability using Form 5884-C, Work Opportunity Credit for Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations Hiring Qualified Veterans. Free taxes online For more information, visit IRS. Free taxes online gov and enter “work opportunity credit” in the search box. Free taxes online See chapter 13. Free taxes online Estimated tax. Free taxes online  For tax years beginning in 2013, the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) may need to be included when calculating your estimated tax. Free taxes online Also, when figuring your estimated tax, you may need to include the 0. Free taxes online 9% Additional Medicare Tax applicable to Medicare wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income above the threshold amount based on your filing status. Free taxes online For more information, see Publication 505. Free taxes online What's New for 2014 Maximum net earnings. Free taxes online  The maximum net self-employment earnings subject to the social security part of the self-employment tax for 2014 will be discussed in the 2013 Publication 334. Free taxes online See chapter 12. Free taxes online Social security and Medicare tax for 2014. Free taxes online  The employee and employer tax rates for social security and the maximum amount of wages subject to social security tax for 2014 will be discussed in Publication 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide (For use in 2014). Free taxes online The Medicare tax rate for 2014 will also be discussed in Publication 51 (Circular A) (For use in 2014). Free taxes online There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax. Free taxes online See chapter 13. Free taxes online Reminders The following reminders and other items may help you file your tax return. Free taxes online   IRS e-file (Electronic Filing) You can file your tax returns electronically using an IRS e-file option. Free taxes online The benefits of IRS e-file include faster refunds, increased accuracy, and acknowledgment of IRS receipt of your return. Free taxes online You can use one of the following IRS e-file options. Free taxes online Use an authorized IRS e-file provider. Free taxes online Use a personal computer. Free taxes online Visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site. Free taxes online For details on these fast filing methods, see your income tax package. Free taxes online Principal agricultural activity codes. Free taxes online  You must enter on line B of Schedule F (Form 1040) a code that identifies your principal agricultural activity. Free taxes online It is important to use the correct code because this information will identify market segments of the public for IRS Taxpayer Education programs. Free taxes online The U. Free taxes online S. Free taxes online Census Bureau also uses this information for its economic census. Free taxes online See the list of Principal Agricultural Activity Codes on page 2 of Schedule F (Form 1040). Free taxes online Publication on employer identification numbers (EIN). Free taxes online  Publication 1635, Understanding Your Employer Identification Number, provides general information on employer identification numbers. Free taxes online Topics include how to apply for an EIN and how to complete Form SS-4. Free taxes online Change of address. Free taxes online  If you change your home address, you should use Form 8822, Change of Addres, to notify the IRS. Free taxes online If you change your business address, you should use Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party — Business, to notify the IRS. Free taxes online Be sure to include your suite, room, or other unit number. Free taxes online Reportable transactions. Free taxes online  You must file Form 8886, Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement, to report certain transactions. Free taxes online You may have to pay a penalty if you are required to file Form 8886 but do not do so. Free taxes online Reportable transactions include (1) transactions the same as or substantially similar to tax avoidance transactions identified by the IRS, (2) transactions offered to you under conditions of confidentiality and for which you paid an advisor a minimum fee, (3) transactions for which you have or a related party has a right to a full or partial refund of fees if all or part of the intended tax consequences from the transaction are not sustained, (4) transactions that result in losses of at least $2 million in any single year or $4 million in any combination of years, and (5) transactions with asset holding periods of 45 days or less and that result in a tax credit of more than $250,000. Free taxes online For more information, see the Instructions for Form 8886. Free taxes online Form W-4 for 2014. Free taxes online  You should make new Forms W-4 available to your employees and encourage them to check their income tax withholding for 2014. Free taxes online Those employees who owed a large amount of tax or received a large refund for 2013 may need to submit a new Form W-4. Free taxes online See Publication 919, How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding. Free taxes online Form 1099-MISC. Free taxes online  Generally, file Form 1099-MISC if you pay at least $600 in rents, services, and other miscellaneous payments in your farming business to an individual (for example, an accountant, an attorney, or a veterinarian) who is not your employee. Free taxes online Limited Liability Company (LLC). Free taxes online  For purposes of this publication, a limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity organized in the United States under state law. Free taxes online Unlike a partnership, all of the members of an LLC have limited personal liability for its debts. Free taxes online An LLC may be classified for federal income tax purposes as a partnership, corporation, or an entity disregarded as separate from its owner by applying the rules in Regulations section 301. Free taxes online 7701-3. Free taxes online See Publication 3402 for more details. Free taxes online Photographs of missing children. Free taxes online  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Free taxes online Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Free taxes online 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. Free taxes online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications