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Tips for Taxpayers, Victims about Identity Theft and Tax Returns

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ID Theft: IRS Efforts on Identity Theft

FS-2014-2, January 2014

Identity theft remains a top priority for the Internal Revenue Service in 2014. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. This year, the IRS continues to take new steps and strong actions to protect taxpayers and help victims of identity theft and refund fraud.

Stopping refund fraud related to identity theft is a top priority for the tax agency. The IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible. The IRS has more than 3,000 employees working on identity theft cases. We have trained more than 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize and provide assistance when identity theft occurs.

Taxpayers can encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways. One instance is where identity thieves try filing fraudulent refund claims using another person’s identifying information, which has been stolen. Innocent taxpayers are victimized because their refunds are delayed.

Here are some tips to protect you from becoming a victim, and steps to take if you think someone may have filed a tax return using your name:

Tips to protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
  • Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
  • Protect your financial information.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.

If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, extension 245 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. local time; Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time).

If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft

Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS or learn from your tax professional that:

  • More than one tax return for you was filed;
  • You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return;
  • IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned or
  • Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting an income change.

If you receive a notice from the IRS and you suspect your identity has been used fraudulently, respond immediately by calling the number on the notice.

If you did not receive an IRS notice but believe you’ve been the victim of identity theft, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490, extension 245 right away so we can take steps to secure your tax account and match your SSN or ITIN.

Also, fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039. Please write legibly and follow the directions on the back of the form that relate to your specific circumstances.

In addition, we recommend you take additional steps with agencies outside the IRS:

  • Report incidents of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov or the FTC Identity Theft hotline at 877-438-4338 or TTY 866-653-4261.
  • File a report with the local police.
  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:
    • Equifax – www.equifax.com, 800-525-6285
    • Experian – www.experian.com, 888-397-3742
    • TransUnion – www.transunion.com, 800-680-7289
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

More information is available at IRS.gov:

Help if you have reported an identity theft case to the IRS and are waiting for your federal tax refund

The IRS is working to speed up and further streamline identity theft case resolution to help innocent taxpayers.

The IRS more than doubled the level of employees dedicated to working identity theft cases between 2011 and 2012.  As the IRS enters the 2014 filing season, we now have more than 3,000 employees working identity theft issues.

These are extremely complex cases to resolve, frequently touching on multiple issues and multiple tax years. Cases of resolving identity can be complicated by the thieves themselves contacting the IRS. Due to the complexity of the situation, this is a time-consuming process. Taxpayers are likely to see their refunds delayed for an extended period of time while we take the necessary actions to resolve the matter. A typical case can take about 180 days to resolve, and the IRS is working to reduce that time period.

If you have an open identity theft case that is being worked by the IRS, you need to continue to file your tax returns during this period.

For victims of identity theft who have previously been in contact with the IRS and have not achieved a resolution to their case, you may contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free, at 800-908-4490. If you are unable to get your issue resolved and are experiencing financial difficulties, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service toll-free at 877-777-4778.

More Information

It is a top priority for the IRS to help victims and reduce the time it takes to resolve cases. In addition, the IRS continues to aggressively expand its efforts to protect and prevent refund fraud involving identity theft before it occurs as well as work with federal, state and local officials to pursue the perpetrators of this fraud.

For more information, see the special identity theft section on IRS.gov and IRS Fact Sheet 2014-1, IRS Combats Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 07-Jan-2014

The State Taxes Online

State taxes online 9. State taxes online   Worksheets Table of Contents When Should I Figure MAC?Checking the Previous Year's Contributions Available Worksheets Chapter 2 introduced you to the term maximum amount contributable (MAC). State taxes online Generally, your MAC is the lesser of your: Limit on annual additions (chapter 3), or Limit on elective deferrals (chapter 4). State taxes online The worksheets in this chapter can help you figure the cost of incidental life insurance, your includible compensation, your limit on annual additions, your limit on elective deferrals, your limit on catch-up contributions, and your MAC. State taxes online After completing the worksheets, you should maintain them with your 403(b) records for that year. State taxes online Do not attach them to your tax return. State taxes online At the end of the year or the beginning of the next year, you should compare your estimated compensation figures with your actual figures. State taxes online If your compensation is the same as, or more than, the projected amounts and the calculations are correct, then you should simply file these worksheets with your other tax records for the year. State taxes online If your compensation was lower than your estimated figures, you will need to check the amount contributed during the year to determine if contributions are more than your MAC. State taxes online When Should I Figure MAC? At the beginning of each year, you should figure your MAC using a conservative estimate of your compensation. State taxes online Should your income change during the year, you should refigure your MAC based on a revised conservative estimate. State taxes online By doing this, you will be able to determine if contributions to your 403(b) account should be increased or decreased for the year. State taxes online Checking the Previous Year's Contributions At the beginning of the following year, you should refigure your MAC based on your actual earned income. State taxes online At the end of the current year or the beginning of the next year, you should check your contributions to be sure you did not exceed your MAC. State taxes online This means refiguring your limit based on your actual compensation figures for the year. State taxes online This will allow you to determine if the amount contributed is more than the allowable amounts, and possibly avoid additional taxes. State taxes online Available Worksheets The following worksheets have been provided to help you figure your MAC. State taxes online Worksheet A. State taxes online Cost of Incidental Life Insurance. State taxes online Worksheet B. State taxes online Includible Compensation for Your Most Recent Year of Service Worksheet C. State taxes online Limit on Catch-Up Contributions. State taxes online ??? Worksheet 1. State taxes online Maximum Amount Contributable (MAC). State taxes online Worksheet A. State taxes online Cost of Incidental Life Insurance Note. State taxes online Use this worksheet to figure the cost of incidental life insurance included in your annuity contract. State taxes online This amount will be used to figure includible compensation for your most recent year of service. State taxes online 1. State taxes online Enter the value of the contract (amount payable upon your death) 1. State taxes online   2. State taxes online Enter the cash value in the contract at the end of the year 2. State taxes online   3. State taxes online Subtract line 2 from line 1. State taxes online This is the value of your current life insurance protection 3. State taxes online   4. State taxes online Enter your age on your birthday nearest the beginning of the policy year 4. State taxes online   5. State taxes online Enter the 1-year term premium for $1,000 of life insurance based on your age. State taxes online (From Figure 3-1) 5. State taxes online   6. State taxes online Divide line 3 by $1,000 6. State taxes online   7. State taxes online Multiply line 6 by line 5. State taxes online This is the cost of your incidental life insurance 7. State taxes online   Worksheet B. State taxes online Includible Compensation for Your Most Recent Year of Service1 Note. State taxes online Use this worksheet to figure includible compensation for your most recent year of service. State taxes online 1. State taxes online Enter your includible wages from the employer maintaining your 403(b) account for your most recent year of service 1. State taxes online   2. State taxes online Enter elective deferrals excluded from your gross income for your most recent year of service2 2. State taxes online   3. State taxes online Enter amounts contributed or deferred by your employer under a cafeteria plan for your most recent year of service 3. State taxes online   4. State taxes online Enter amounts contributed or deferred by your employer according to your election to your 457 account (a nonqualified plan of a state or local government or of a tax-exempt organization) for your most recent year of service 4. State taxes online   5. State taxes online Enter pre-tax contributions (employer's contributions made on your behalf according to your election) to a qualified transportation fringe benefit plan for your most recent year of service 5. State taxes online   6. State taxes online Enter your foreign earned income exclusion for your most recent year of service 6. State taxes online   7. State taxes online Add lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 7. State taxes online   8. State taxes online Enter the cost of incidental life insurance that is part of your annuity contract for your most recent year of service 8. State taxes online   9. State taxes online Enter compensation that was both: Earned during your most recent year of service, and Earned while your employer was not qualified to maintain a 403(b) plan 9. State taxes online   10. State taxes online Add lines 8 and 9 10. State taxes online   11. State taxes online Subtract line 10 from line 7. State taxes online This is your includible compensation for your most recent year of service 11. State taxes online   1Use estimated amounts if figuring includible compensation before the end of the year. State taxes online  2Elective deferrals made to a designated Roth account are not excluded from your gross income and should not be included on this line. State taxes online Worksheet C. State taxes online Limit on Catch-Up Contributions Note. State taxes online If you will be age 50 or older by the end of the year, use this worksheet to figure your limit on catch-up contributions. State taxes online 1. State taxes online Maximum catch-up contributions 1. State taxes online $5,500 2. State taxes online Enter your includible compensation for your most recent year of service 2. State taxes online   3. State taxes online Enter your elective deferrals 3. State taxes online   4. State taxes online Subtract line 3 from line 2 4. State taxes online   5. State taxes online Enter the lesser of line 1 or line 4. State taxes online This is your limit on catch-up contributions 5. State taxes online   Worksheet 1. State taxes online Maximum Amount Contributable (MAC) Note. State taxes online Use this worksheet to figure your MAC. State taxes online Part I. State taxes online Limit on Annual Additions     1. State taxes online Enter your includible compensation for your most recent year of service 1. State taxes online   2. State taxes online Maximum1: For 2013, enter $51,000 For 2014, enter $52,000 2. State taxes online   3. State taxes online Enter the lesser of line 1 or line 2. State taxes online This is your limit on annual additions 3. State taxes online     Caution: If you had only nonelective contributions, skip Part II and enter the amount from line 3 on line 18. State taxes online     Part II. State taxes online Limit on Elective Deferrals     4. State taxes online Maximum contribution: For 2013, enter $17,500 For 2014, enter $17,500 4. State taxes online     Note. State taxes online If you have at least 15 years of service with a qualifying organization, complete lines 5 through 17. State taxes online If not, enter zero (-0-) on line 16 and go to line 17. State taxes online     5. State taxes online Amount per year of service 5. State taxes online $ 5,000 6. State taxes online Enter your years of service 6. State taxes online   7. State taxes online Multiply line 5 by line 6 7. State taxes online   8. State taxes online Enter the total of all elective deferrals made for you by the qualifying organization for prior years 8. State taxes online   9. State taxes online Subtract line 8 from line 7. State taxes online If zero or less, enter zero (-0-) 9. State taxes online   10. State taxes online Maximum increase in limit for long service 10. State taxes online $15,000 11. State taxes online Enter the total of additional pre-tax elective deferrals made in prior years under the 15-year rule 11. State taxes online   12. State taxes online Enter the aggregate amount of all designated Roth contributions permitted for prior years under the 15-year rule 12. State taxes online   13. State taxes online Add line 11 and line 12 13. State taxes online   14. State taxes online Subtract line 13 from line 10 14. State taxes online   15. State taxes online Maximum additional contributions 15. State taxes online $ 3,000 16. State taxes online Enter the least of lines 9, 14, or 15. State taxes online This is your increase in the limit for long service 16. State taxes online   17. State taxes online Add lines 4 and 16. State taxes online This is your limit on elective deferrals 17. State taxes online     Part III. State taxes online Maximum Amount Contributable     18. State taxes online If you had only nonelective contributions, enter the amount from line 3. State taxes online This is your MAC. State taxes online    If you had only elective deferrals, enter the lesser of lines 3 or 17. State taxes online This is your MAC. State taxes online    If you had both elective deferrals and nonelective contributions, enter the amount from line 3. State taxes online This is your MAC. State taxes online (Use the amount on line 17 to determine if you have excess elective deferrals as explained in chapter 7. State taxes online ) 18. State taxes online   1If you participate in a 403(b) plan and a qualified plan, you must combine contributions made to your 403(b) account with contributions to a qualified plan and simplified employee pension plans of all corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships in which you have more than 50% control. State taxes online You must also combine the contributions made to all 403(b) accounts on your behalf by your employer. State taxes online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications