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Taxact2011 5. Taxact2011   How To Get Tax Help Table of Contents Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. Taxact2011 Free help with your tax return. Taxact2011   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Taxact2011 The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. Taxact2011 The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Taxact2011 Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Taxact2011 In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. Taxact2011 To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. Taxact2011 gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. Taxact2011   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. Taxact2011 To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. Taxact2011 aarp. Taxact2011 org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. Taxact2011 For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Taxact2011 gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. Taxact2011 Internet. Taxact2011    IRS. Taxact2011 gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Taxact2011 Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Taxact2011 Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. Taxact2011 Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. Taxact2011 gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. Taxact2011 The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Taxact2011 Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. Taxact2011 You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Taxact2011 The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Taxact2011 Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. Taxact2011 No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. Taxact2011 The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. Taxact2011 When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. Taxact2011 New subject areas are added on a regular basis. Taxact2011  Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS. Taxact2011 gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. Taxact2011 You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. Taxact2011 The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. Taxact2011 When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. Taxact2011 Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. Taxact2011 You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. Taxact2011 Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. Taxact2011 gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Taxact2011 Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. Taxact2011 Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant. Taxact2011 Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS. Taxact2011 If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance. Taxact2011 Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS. Taxact2011 gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. Taxact2011 You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. Taxact2011 It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. Taxact2011 Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS. Taxact2011 gov. Taxact2011 Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS. Taxact2011 gov for more information. Taxact2011 Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today. Taxact2011 Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. Taxact2011 gov. Taxact2011 Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. Taxact2011 Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. Taxact2011 gov. Taxact2011 Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. Taxact2011 gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. Taxact2011 Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities. Taxact2011 Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. Taxact2011 gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. Taxact2011 An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Taxact2011 Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. Taxact2011 gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. Taxact2011 If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Taxact2011 Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Taxact2011 Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Taxact2011 Go to IRS. Taxact2011 gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. Taxact2011 Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. Taxact2011 Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. Taxact2011 Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. Taxact2011 Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS. Taxact2011 gov and choose from a variety of options. Taxact2011    Phone. Taxact2011 You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. Taxact2011 Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Taxact2011 Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. Taxact2011 gov, or download the IRS2Go app. Taxact2011 Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Taxact2011 The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Taxact2011 Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Taxact2011 Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Taxact2011 Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. Taxact2011 Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. Taxact2011 If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. Taxact2011 The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Taxact2011 Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Taxact2011 Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Taxact2011 The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Taxact2011 Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. Taxact2011 Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. Taxact2011 Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. Taxact2011 You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. Taxact2011 It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. Taxact2011 Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). Taxact2011 You should receive your order within 10 business days. Taxact2011 Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. Taxact2011 If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. Taxact2011 Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. Taxact2011 The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. Taxact2011 These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. Taxact2011    Walk-in. Taxact2011 You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. Taxact2011 Products. Taxact2011 You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Taxact2011 Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. Taxact2011 Services. Taxact2011 You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. Taxact2011 An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Taxact2011 Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. Taxact2011 gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. Taxact2011    Mail. Taxact2011 You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. Taxact2011 You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. Taxact2011 Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Taxact2011 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613    The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. Taxact2011 The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Taxact2011 Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. Taxact2011   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. Taxact2011 We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. Taxact2011 You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. Taxact2011 You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. Taxact2011   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Taxact2011 Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. Taxact2011 Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. Taxact2011 Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. Taxact2011 We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Taxact2011   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. Taxact2011   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. Taxact2011 If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System. Taxact2011 Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. Taxact2011 Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Taxact2011 Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. Taxact2011 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Taxact2011 Publication 54 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments What's New Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. Taxact2011 Tax questions. Taxact2011 Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Publication 54, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/pub54. Taxact2011 What's New Exclusion amount. Taxact2011  The maximum foreign earned income exclusion is adjusted annually for inflation. Taxact2011 For 2013, the maximum exclusion has increased to $97,600. Taxact2011 See Limit on Excludable Amount under Foreign Earned Income Exclusion in chapter 4. Taxact2011 Housing expenses — base amount. Taxact2011  The computation of the base housing amount (line 32 of Form 2555) is tied to the maximum foreign earned income exclusion. Taxact2011 The amount is 16 percent of the exclusion amount (computed on a daily basis), multiplied by the number of days in your qualifying period that fall within your 2013 tax year. Taxact2011 For 2013, this amount is $42. Taxact2011 78 per day ($15,616 per year). Taxact2011 See Housing Amount under Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction in chapter 4. Taxact2011 Housing expenses — maximum amount. Taxact2011  The amount of qualified housing expenses eligible for the housing exclusion and housing deduction has changed for some locations. Taxact2011 See Limit on housing expenses under Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction in chapter 4. Taxact2011 Filing requirements. Taxact2011  Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file an income tax return has increased. Taxact2011 These amounts are shown in chapter 1 under Filing Requirements . Taxact2011 Self-employment tax rate. Taxact2011  For 2013, the self-employment tax rate of 13. Taxact2011 3% has increased to 15. Taxact2011 3%. Taxact2011 The maximum amount of net earnings from self-employment that is subject to the social security part of the self-employment tax has increased to $113,700. Taxact2011 All net earnings are subject to the Medicare part of the tax. Taxact2011 For more information, see chapter 3. Taxact2011 IRA limitations for 2013. Taxact2011 . Taxact2011  The 2013 contribution limit to an IRA has increased to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or older). Taxact2011 You may be able to take an IRA deduction if you were covered by a retirement plan and your 2013 modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $69,000 ($115,000 if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er)). Taxact2011 If your spouse was covered by a retirement plan, but you were not, you may be able to take an IRA deduction if your 2013 modified AGI is less than $188,000. Taxact2011 See the Instructions for Form 1040 or the Instructions for Form 1040A for details and exceptions. Taxact2011 Reminders Figuring tax on income not excluded. Taxact2011  If you claim the foreign earned income exclusion, the housing exclusion, or both, you must figure the tax on your nonexcluded income using the tax rates that would have applied had you not claimed the exclusions. Taxact2011 See the Instructions for Form 1040 and complete the Foreign Earned Income Tax Worksheet to figure the amount of tax to enter on Form 1040, line 44. Taxact2011 If you must attach Form 6251 to your return, use the Foreign Earned Income Tax Worksheet provided in the Instructions for Form 6251. Taxact2011 Form 8938. Taxact2011  If you had foreign financial assets in 2013, you may have to file Form 8938 with your return. Taxact2011 See Form 8938 in chapter 1. Taxact2011 Change of address. Taxact2011  If you change your home mailing address, notify the Internal Revenue Service using Form 8822, Change of Address. Taxact2011 If you are changing your business address, use Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party—Business. Taxact2011 Photographs of missing children. Taxact2011  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Taxact2011 Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Taxact2011 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. Taxact2011 Introduction This publication discusses special tax rules for U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 citizens and resident aliens who work abroad or who have income earned in foreign countries. Taxact2011 If you are a U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 citizen or resident alien, your worldwide income generally is subject to U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 income tax, regardless of where you are living. Taxact2011 Also, you are subject to the same income tax filing requirements that apply to U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 citizens or resident aliens living in the United States. Taxact2011 Expatriation tax provisions apply to U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 citizens who have renounced their citizenship and long-term residents who have ended their residency. Taxact2011 These provisions are discussed in chapter 4 of Publication 519, U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 Tax Guide for Aliens. Taxact2011 Resident alien. Taxact2011   A resident alien is an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who meets either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year. Taxact2011 Green card test. Taxact2011 You are a U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 resident if you were a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year. Taxact2011 This is known as the green card test because resident aliens hold immigrant visas (also known as green cards). Taxact2011 Substantial presence test. Taxact2011 You are considered a U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 resident if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. Taxact2011 To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least: 31 days during the current calendar year, and A total of 183 days during the current year and the 2 preceding years, counting all the days of physical presence in the current year, but only 1/3 the number of days of presence in the first preceding year, and only 1/6 the number of days in the second preceding year. Taxact2011 Example. Taxact2011 You were physically present in the United States on 120 days in each of the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. Taxact2011 To determine if you meet the substantial presence test for 2013, count the full 120 days of presence in 2013, 40 days in 2012 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2011 (1/6 of 120). Taxact2011 Because the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, you are not considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2013. Taxact2011   For more information on resident and nonresident status, the tests for residence, and the exceptions to them, see Publication 519. Taxact2011 Filing information. Taxact2011    Chapter 1 contains general filing information, such as: Whether you must file a U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 tax return, When and where to file your return, How to report your income if it is paid in foreign currency, How to treat a nonresident alien spouse as a U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 resident, and Whether you must pay estimated tax. Taxact2011 Withholding tax. Taxact2011    Chapter 2 discusses the withholding of income, social security, and Medicare taxes from the pay of U. Taxact2011 S. Taxact2011 citizens and resident aliens. Taxact2011 Self-employment tax. Taxact2011    Chapter 3 discusses who must pay self-employment tax. Taxact2011 Foreign earned income exclusion and housing exclusion and deduction. Taxact2011    Chapter 4 discusses income tax benefits that apply if you meet certain requirements while living abroad. Taxact2011 You may qualify to treat up to $97,600 of your income as not taxable by the United States. Taxact2011 You also may be able to either deduct part of your housing expenses from your income or treat a limited amount of income used for housing expenses as not taxable by the United States. Taxact2011 These benefits are called the foreign earned income exclusion and the foreign housing deduction and exclusion. Taxact2011   To qualify for either of the exclusions or the deduction, you must have a tax home in a foreign country and earn income from personal services performed in a foreign country. Taxact2011 These rules are explained in chapter 4. Taxact2011   If you are going to exclude or deduct your income as discussed above, you must file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Taxact2011 Exemptions, deductions, and credits. Taxact2011    Chapter 5 discusses exemptions, deductions, and credits you may be able to claim on your return. Taxact2011 These are generally the same as if you were living in the United States. Taxact2011 However, if you choose to exclude foreign earned income or housing amounts, you cannot deduct or exclude any item or take a credit for any item that is related to the amounts you exclude. Taxact2011 Among the topics discussed in chapter 5 are: Exemptions, Contributions to foreign organizations, Foreign moving expenses, Contributions to individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), and Foreign taxes. Taxact2011 Tax treaty benefits. Taxact2011    Chapter 6 discusses some benefits that are common to most tax treaties and explains how to get help if you think you are not receiving a treaty benefit to which you are entitled. Taxact2011 It also explains how to get copies of tax treaties. Taxact2011 How to get tax help. Taxact2011    Chapter 7 is an explanation of how to get information and assistance from the IRS. Taxact2011 Questions and answers. Taxact2011   Frequently asked questions and answers to those questions are presented in the back of the publication. Taxact2011 Comments and suggestions. Taxact2011   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Taxact2011   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Taxact2011 NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Taxact2011 Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Taxact2011   You can send us comments from www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/formspubs/. Taxact2011 Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. Taxact2011 ”   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. Taxact2011 Ordering forms and publications. Taxact2011   Visit www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Taxact2011 Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Taxact2011 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Taxact2011   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Taxact2011 gov or call 1-800-TAX–FORM (1-800-829-1040). Taxact2011 We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Taxact2011 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications