which the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you. For more
1-800-829-0433. Victims of identity theft who are having trouble
information, see Pub. 971 and Form 8857.
filing their returns should call the Taxpayer Advocate at
Income tax withholding and estimated tax payments for 2006.
the amount you owe or your refund is large, you may want to file a
The IRS does not request personal taxpayer information through
new Form W-4 with your employer to change the amount of income
email. If you receive this type of request, it may be an attempt by
tax withheld from your 2006 pay. For details on how to complete
identity thieves to get your private tax information.
Form W-4, see Pub. 919. In general, you do not have to make
estimated tax payments if you expect that your 2006 tax return will
show a tax refund or a tax balance due of less than $1,000. See Pub.
If a taxpayer died before filing a return for
Death of a taxpayer.
505 for more details.
2005, the taxpayer’s spouse or personal representative may have to
file and sign a return for that taxpayer. A personal representative
Keep a copy of your
can be an executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the
How long should you keep your tax return?
tax return, worksheets you used, and records of all items appearing
deceased taxpayer’s property. If the deceased taxpayer did not have
on it (such as Forms W-2 and 1099) until the statute of limitations
to file a return but had tax withheld, a return must be filed to get a
runs out for that return. Usually, this is 3 years from the date the
refund. The person who files the return must enter “Deceased,” the
return was due or filed, or 2 years from the date the tax was paid,
deceased taxpayer’s name, and the date of death across the top of
whichever is later. You should keep some records longer. See Pub.
the return. If this information is not provided, the processing of the
552 for details.
return may be delayed.
How do you amend your tax return?
Use Form 1040X to change a
If your spouse died in 2005 and you did not remarry in 2005, or
return you already filed. Generally, Form 1040X must be filed
if your spouse died in 2006 before filing a return for 2005, you can
within 3 years after the date the original return was filed, or within 2
file a joint return. A joint return should show your spouse’s 2005
years after the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. But you
income before death and your income for all of 2005. Enter “Filing
may have more time to file Form 1040X if you are physically or
as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. If
mentally unable to manage your financial affairs. See Pub. 556 for
someone else is the personal representative, he or she must also
How do you make a gift to reduce debt held by the public?
The surviving spouse or personal representative should
wish to do so, make a check payable to “Bureau of the Public Debt.”
promptly notify all payers of income, including financial institu-
You can send it to: Bureau of the Public Debt, Department G, P.O.
tions, of the taxpayer’s death. This will ensure the proper reporting
Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188. Or you can enclose the
of income earned by the taxpayer’s estate or heirs. A deceased
check with your income tax return when you file.
taxpayer’s social security number should not be used for tax years
after the year of death, except for estate tax return purposes.
You may be able to deduct this gift on your 2006 tax
Claiming a refund for a deceased taxpayer. If you are filing a
joint return as a surviving spouse, you only need to file the tax
return to claim the refund. If you are a court-appointed representa-
tive, file the return and attach a copy of the certificate that shows
If you need a copy of
How do you get a copy of your tax return?
your appointment. All other filers requesting the deceased
your tax return, use Form 4506. There is a $39 fee for each return
requested. If your main home, principal place of business, or tax
taxpayer’s refund must file the return and attach Form 1310.
records are located in a Presidentially declared disaster area, this fee
will be waived. If you want a free transcript of your tax return or
For more details, use TeleTax topic 356 (see page 6) or see Pub.
account, use Form 4506-T or call us. See page 6 for the number.
Parent of a kidnapped child.
The parent of a child who is presumed
by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone
Other Ways To Get Help
who is not a family member may be able to take the child into
account in determining his or her eligibility for the head of house-
Send your written tax questions to the IRS.
You should get an
hold or qualifying widow(er) filing status, deduction for depen-
answer in about 30 days. If you do not have the mailing address, call
dents, child tax credit, and the earned income credit (EIC). For
us. See page 6 for the number. Do not send questions with your
details, use TeleTax topic 357 (see page 6) or see Pub. 501 (Pub.
596 for the EIC).
Research your tax questions online.
You can find answers to many
Do both the name and social security number (SSN) on your tax
of your tax questions online in several ways by accessing the IRS
If not, your
forms agree with your social security card?
website at and then clicking on “Help with Tax
exemption(s) and any earned income credit may be disallowed,
Questions.” Here are some of the methods you may want to try.
your refund may be delayed, and you may not receive credit for
your social security earnings. If your Form W-2, Form 1099, or
Frequently asked questions. This section contains an extensive
other tax document shows an incorrect name or SSN, notify your
list of questions and answers. You can select your question by
employer or the form-issuing agent as soon as possible to make sure
category or keyword.
your earnings are credited to your social security record. If the name
Tax trails. This is an interactive section which asks questions
or SSN on your social security card is incorrect, call the Social
you can answer by selecting “Yes” or “No.”
Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
Tax topics. This section provides a broad picture of tax topics
beginning with 17 main categories. Each topic link leads to further
If you believe someone has assumed your identity to
categories and then to a discussion of the topic.
file federal income tax returns, or to commit other tax fraud, call
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Need more information or forms? See page 5.